Saturday, January 30, 2010

Veteran Jat leader Ram Niwas Mirdha dead

JAIPUR: Jat veteran and one of the top Congress leaders in Rajasthan, Ram Niwas Mirdha (87), passed away on Friday following multiple organ failure
in Delhi. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. His eldest son Rajendra Mirdha, had passed away the same day last year. His granddaughter Jyoti Mirdha is the present MP from Nagaur Lok Sabha seat.
He was born in Kuchera village in Nagaur district on August 24, 1924. The last rites would be performed at Kuchera on Saturday with full state honours. The state has announced a day of mourning.
He had held key ministerial portfolios, including external affairs and communications. He was the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, which went into the multi-crore securities scam in the early nineties. He was also deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha from March 1977 to April 1980. During former Prime Minister Indra Gandhi's tenure, he was MoS in home, personnel and administrative reforms.
Mirdha was admitted to the hospital on January 21 after he was diagnosed with kidney infection. "He passed away around 12:45 pm following multiple organ failure,'' Dr D S Rana, consultant, department of nephrology of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said.
Governor Prabha Rau, chief minister Ashok Gehlot, assembly speaker Deependra Singh Shekhawat and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje condoled Mirdha's death.
Mirdha was one of the politicians who opted to be in public life rather than serve as a bureaucrat. In 1953 he quit his job as an officer of Rajasthan Adminstrative Service to contest a by-election from Jayal in his home Nagaur districts.
Mirdha was educated in Jodhpur and did his post graduation from Allahbad University and law from Lucknow University. He then went to study international affairs in Geneva.
When he was serving as the secretary of Nathu Ram another senior Jat leader Ram Niwas was known for writing letters and conversing in fluent English, for which his community regarded him as a "padha likha Jat'' (educated Jat). Known for his pleasing manners, he was groomed in politics by his uncle Nathu Ram who helped him in getting Congress nomination in the by-election in Jayal.
Ram Niwas clashed with his mentor and guru Nathu Ram in the 1984 Lok sabha election from Nagaur and defeated him. It was an embarrassment for the nephew. After this election, their relationship soured. When Nathu Ram Mirdha died and a by-election followed in Nagaur, Nathu Ram's son Bhanu Prakash defeated Ram Niwas largely because the people of Nagaur wanted to pay their tribute to Nathu Ram a towering leader.
He was elected to the Rajasthan assembly thrice and was the speaker of the Assembly from 1957 to 1967. Mirdha enjoyed a good and clean image, which helped him become the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee that probed securities scam in the '90s.

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