FORMER UTTAR Pradesh chief minister Ram Naresh Yadav, whose name had cropped up in the Vyapam scam, passed away at Lucknow’s Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences on Tuesday morning, where he was undergoing treatment for past few days. He was 89.
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Yadav hailed from Azamgarh in UP and had served as the state chief minister from 1977 to 79 during the Janata Party regime. He was also the Governor of Madhya Pradesh from August 2011 to September 2016. Having represented Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat during his early political career, he had lost the 2004 general elections as a Congress nominee to Ramakant Yadav of BSP.
His name had figured in the Vyapam scam, a multi-crore scandal in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, which involved several high-profile professionals, politicians and bureaucrats. The Madhya Pradesh High Court had later quashed the FIR filed against him in connection with the scam, holding that he enjoyed immunity while in office. His son, Shailesh, whose name had also figured in the scam, was found dead under mysterious circumstances Yadav’s official residence in Lucknow in March last year.
Yadav had also landed into controversy soon after his appointment as the Governor in 2011, when he had publicly maintained that then President had appointed him as the Governor on the “advice” Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and senior leaders across party lines visited Yadav’s residence to pay homage. From Lucknow, his body would be taken to Azamgarh on Monday night. His last rites would take place on Wednesday.
“He was a soft spoken leader, who had worked for villages, farmers and poor. He believed in Samajwadi ideology and had worked with likes of Raj Narayan and Chaudhary Charan Singh. He made a impact as a teacher, lawyer as well as a politician,” said Akhilesh.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was in Allahabad on Tuesday, also offered her condolence. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Public Relations Minister Narottam Mishra also expressed grief over his demise.