Shimla, Nov 03: Himachal Pradesh BJP stalwart and former minister Kishori Lal died last night at a hospital in Jalandhar where he was admitted after suffering a paralytic stroke last month. He was 71 and is survived by his wife and three sons.
His body was brought to Chamba for cremation early today.
An RSS activist from his early days, Lal joined the erstwhile Jan Sangh in 1960 and was elected to the legislature for the first time from Chamba in 1967. He was re-elected from the constituency in 1972 and 1977 and inducted as cabinet minister in the Janata Dal government headed by Shanta Kumar.
Lal was defeated in 1982 but won from Banikhet in a byelection in 1983. He again lost in the 1985 mid-term elections to the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.
He was again elected from Chamba in 1990 when he became industries minister in the Shanta Kumar government. Lal had another taste of defeat in 1993 but won from Bhatiayat in 1998 and became a minister in the P K Dhumal cabinet. He lost from Bhatiyat in 2003 and had been politically inactive lately due to illness.
He was BJP Vice-President and General Secretary and held several other important offices in his public life spanning over 45 years.
Chief Minister V B Singh, Former Union Minister Shanta Kumar, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, HPCC chief Viplov Thakur, state revenue minister Sat Mahajan, Irrigation and Public Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, state BJP chief Suresh Bharadwaj, Lok Sabha member Chander Kumar and other prominent leaders have mourned the death of Kishori Lal and recalled his contribution to the state.
Shanta Kumar, who could not attend the funeral, in his message said that he had "very long political association with Lal and had fought many political battles together. It was because of the untiring efforts of a leader like Kishori Lal that the BJP emerged as a strong political force in Himachal".