MP Governor Lalji Tandon passes away at 85 from prolonged illness

Lalji Tandon is survived by his wife Krishna Tandon and three sons.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon (85) passed away on Tuesday after a prolonged illness. His son and UP minister Ashutosh Tandon confirmed the news.

Lalji Tandon was admitted to the Medanta hospital on June 13 after he complained of urinary problem and fever. He, thereafter, developed complications in liver and kidney and even underwent a surgical procedure. He was put on ventilator later.

Born on April 12, 1935, Tandon is survived by his wife Krishna Tandon and three sons.

The veteran leader has served as member of the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Parishad for two terms and also remained the Leader of House of the Council.

Fondly known as "Babuji" among his supporters, Tandon was known for his proximity to Vajpayee.

Tandon represented the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat (2009-14) when the former prime minister did not contest from the high-profile constituency on account of his poor health.

He took oath as Madhya Pradesh governor on July 29, 2019, when the Congress was in power in the state, after serving in the same post in Bihar for nearly 11 months. His tenure in the Raj Bhavan here, too, lasted for nearly 11 months.

After taking charge as governor during the Congress government, Tandon ensured his presence was felt in the administration.

His gubernatorial skills were put to test when the Congress government of Chief Minister Kamal Nath faced an internal revolt when 22 party MLAs, including six ministers -all supporters of former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia -resigned in March this year.

When the Nath administration delayed taking the floor test, Tandon, a seasoned politician and administrator, intervened and directed the Congress government to prove its majority on the floor of the assembly, triggering a "letter war" between the CM and the governor.

Then came a bitter legal battle between the Congress government, the governor and the BJP which was finally settled by the Supreme Court that ruled in favour of Tandon's directive on the matter.

Reduced to minority post the resignation of 22 MLAs, the 15-month-old Nath regime collapsed, paving the way for the BJP to form its government under Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Tandon opened the Raj Bhavan kitchen for preparing food packets for the needy.

The governor's kitchen has been sending out as many as 100 food packets on a daily basis and sometimes even at a short notice, a spokesperson from the Raj Bhavan said.

Tandon personally examined each item packed in the food parcels and also tasted them to ensure quality, the spokesperson added.

As chancellor of state universities, he regularly monitored educational institutions and ensured teaching standards are maintained at all cost.

Born on April 12, 1935 in the Chowk area of Lucknow, to Shiv Narayan Tandon and Annapurna Devi, Tandon entered politics after completing graduation.

Tandon became a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council for the first time in 1978. He served two terms in the Upper House of the state legislature - from 1978 to 1984 and 1990-1996.

He was elected as an MLA three times between the period 1996-2009 and served as a minister for the first time in UP's BJP government in 1991-1992 and held the power portfolio.

Tandon also served as leader of the legislative council from 1997-2002 and held the same post in the assembly from 2003-2007.

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