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VHP leader Ashok Singhal passes away; PM Narendra Modi says it’s a personal loss​

Vishva Hindu Parishad​ (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal, who was undergoing treatment in a Gurgaon hospital died on Tuesday.

Singhal’s demise was confirmed by Praveen Togadia. “Singhal died at 2.24 PM at Medanta Medicity hospital in Gurgaon,” Togadia said.

89-year-old Singhal was admitted on November 14 to Medanta with complaints of acute breathlessness and has been diagnosed with right lower Lobe Pneumonia. He was on a ventilator from November 14 evening.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief and said that Ashok Singhalji’s death was a personal loss. “He was an institution in himself, whose life was centred around serving the nation,” the PM tweeted.

Expressing his condolences, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy tweeted: “Deeply sorry to hear of Ashokji demise. He was a Hindutva Titan and the founder of our Hindu Renaissance movement. His last wish-Ram Temple.”

A bachelor and an RSS pracharak all his life, Singhal, adopted an aggressive style in the “kar sewak” campaign in the build up to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December, 1992.

A metallurgy engineering graduate from Banaras Hindu University, he pitchforked the organisation in the Ayodhya Ram temple movement and sought to internationalise it by recruiting supporters and organising branches world wide. The overseas supporters contributed immensely to the VHP campaign.

BJP president Amit Shah, union Health Minister JP Nadda, and BJP general secretary (organisation) Ramlal visited the hospital on Saturday to enquire about Singhal’s health.

Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, union minister Harsh Vardhan, VHP leader Praveen Togadia, Maninderjeet Singh Bitta, chairman, All-India Anti-Terrorist Front, and a few state leaders visited the hospital on Monday to enquire about Singhal’s health.

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