New Delhi: Former president of Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) and veteran RSS leader Balraj Madhok died here on Monday. Madhok (96) was unwell for some time and had been admitted to AIIMS for a month, where he died around 9 am. The last rites will be conducted in the evening.
A two-time Parliamentarian, Madhok represented the NCT of Delhi and South Delhi in the 2nd and 4th Lok Sabha in 1961 and 1967 respectively.
Born on February 25, 1920, in Jammu and Kashmir's Skardu area, he was the founder Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
In 1951, he was the convener of the first convention of Bharatiya Jana Sangh and was appointed the national Secretary. In 1966, he was elected as National President of Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
A teacher, he was head of the Department of History in PGDAV College, New Delhi and edited "Organiser" in 1947-48 and Hindi Weekly "Veer Arjun" in 1948. He was also Founder Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Praja Parishad.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the demise of Madhok and said his ideological commitment was strong, had immense clarity of thought and was selflessly devoted to the nation and society. "Heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of a stalwart leader of Jan Sangh Shri Balraj Madhok. Balraj Madhok ji's ideological commitment was strong & clarity of thought immense. He was selflessly devoted to the nation & society.
"Had the good fortune of interacting with Balraj Madhok ji on many occasions. His demise is saddening. Condolences to his family. RIP," Modi said in a series of tweets.
His close associate L K Advani also described him as one who was fully committed to its ideology and principles. "I am deeply grieved to learn about the passing away of Balraj Madhok. I mourn Balraj Madhok's passing away and offer my heartfelt condolences to his two daughters. May the departed soul rest in peace," he said in his condolence message.
Advani said Madhok led the party in the general elections of 1967, when the party won 35 seats in Lok Sabha. "He was fully committed to its ideology and principles. During the Emergency he was detained under MISA for 18 months," he said.
Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan tweeted, "Balraj Madhok left for heavenly abode today - India loses a great intellectual, thinker and a social reformer. May his soul rest in peace."