Kedar Nath Sahni cremated, BJP leaders pay tribute to party veteran

Kedar Nath Sahni 1927-2012. Last rites performed at Lodhi Road cremation ground.

Former Governor of Goa and Sikkim and veteran BJP leader Kedar Nath Sahni, who died after a brief illness on Wednesday in Delhi, was cremated at the Lodhi Road cremation ground on Thursday. He was 85.

The funeral was held shortly after senior BJP leaders, including Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and V K Malhotra, paid their last respect to him at the party's central office on Ashoka Road.

He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Government offices were closed on Wednesday afternoon as mark of respect. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who on Wednesday declared two days of state mourning, said Sahni was as an able administrator and an excellent organiser.

"He was a simple and straightforward personality, who contributed in giving shape to various policies," Dikshit said.

Born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Sahni and his family came to India after Partition. Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, V K Malhotra recalled: "He became a pracharak in 1944 and worked in Jammu and Kashmir. He was in Mirpur when Pakistan attacked us in 1947. I met him in Jammu then."

Sahni became an RSS pracharak in Punjab and went on to play key roles in the Jan Sangh and the BJP in Delhi.

In 1954, Sahni moved to Delhi and soon became a close friend of Malhotra a friendship that lasted 58 years. "We have worked together...organising elections and recruiting people. He was highly disciplined and expected those who worked with him to follow the same work ethics. He would not tolerate corruption or laziness," Malhotra said.

He said Sahni became an MCD councillor in 1958. A year later, he became Delhi's deputy mayor after a controversial alliance between the CPI, the BJP and Independents.

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