One of India’s most veteran politicians and a freedom fighter, Narayan Dutt Tiwari, who recently joined the BJP, died on Thursday afternoon, incidentally on his 93rd birthday. Tiwari was admitted to Max Hospital in Saket, New Delhi and was suffering from age-related ailments from September 2017. He holds the distinction of being the only politician to be the chief minister of two different states.
According to a statement issued by the family, Tiwari suffered brain stroke around 9.45 a.m. while having breakfast.
“He also suffered a paralytic attack in the right part of his body. He was immediately rushed to South Delhi’s Max Hospital,” said the statement.
Expressing his condolences, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat tweeted,
"Tiwari-ji's contribution to Uttarakhand can never be forgotten. He played a key role in giving pace to the financial and industrial development of the newly formed Uttarakhand, and helped the state to stand up on its feet."
In his six-decade-long political career, ND Tiwari served as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh thrice in 1976-77, 1984-85, and then from 1988-89. He also served as the CM of Uttarakhand from 2002-2007, when it was carved out of UP. The last constitutional post he held was the Governor of Andhra Pradesh from 2007 to 2009.
He was also the Minister of External Affairs in the Rajiv Gandhi Cabinet between 1986-87. He was a Member of Parliament from both the Houses.
He had joined Congress in 1963 leaving the Praja Socialist Party and quickly became close to the first family of the Congress, which made him easy to get past the shadow of Veer Bahadur Singh before establishing a permanent place in UP politics.
He courted controversy after he was caught in a sting operation being in a compromising position with three women during the time he was the Governor of Andhra Pradesh. He had resigned from his position after being stung citing health reasons.
In 2007, he was appointed as the Governor of the then united Andhra Pradesh. However, his stint as the Governor was marred with a major controversy of a sting operation which showed him in a compromising position with three women at his official residence in Raj Bhavan.
Soon after the clippings was aired, the Raj Bhavan denied the news and approached the High Court and got a restraint order against channels broadcasting those videos. However, after pressure from political parties like TDP, CPM, CPI and BJP as well as from women activists, who protested against his behaviour, Tiwari submitted his resignation to the then President, Prathiba Patil.
In 2008, a 31-year-old lawyer Rohit Shekar filed a case claiming that ND Tiwari was his father and that he undergo a DNA test to confirm the same. In his case, Rohit claimed that he was born to Ujjwala Sharma, a Congress leader and ND Tiwari. Tiwari refuted the claim at that time and lawyered up to fight a three-year-long paternity suit that culminated in the Delhi High Court directing the former governor to undergo a DNA test to ascertain fatherhood. Tiwari then moved the Supreme Court to put a stay on the DNA test but failed. The test results in 2012 proved Rohit was indeed Tiwari’s son. The same year, Tiwari married Rohit's mother Ujjwala Sharma.
It was only in 2014, at an interaction with NDTV that Tiwari publicly accepted Rohit Shekar as his son. “It has been proved that he is my biological son, and I accept him as my son,” said Tiwari to the channel. That year, he had famously said, “Had I not lost the 1991 hustings from Nainital parliamentary constituency, I would have become the PM.”