Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Former Union minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sartaj Singh died in a hospital in Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal on Thursday following a brief illness, his family sources said.
He was 83 and is survived by his wife and three daughters, they said.
Singh came into the limelight in 1998 after he defeated powerful Congress leader and former Union minister late Arjun Singh from Hoshangabad Lok Sabha constituency.
He won the Lok Sabha elections five times from the Hoshangabad seat. He was also elected as an MLA twice later.
Singh served as the Union health minister in 1996 when the government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power for just 13 days, the sources said.
Served as forest minister
During 2013-18, he served as the forest minister in the cabinet led by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, they said.
When BJP denied him a ticket for contesting assembly polls in 2018, he joined the Congress and contested as its candidate. However, he lost the elections and returned to the BJP after that, they added.
His last rites will be performed in Itarsi on Friday, the sources said.
MP CM Chouhan expressed grief over Singh's death and said he was a popular leader from the Itarsi-Narmadapuram (Hoshangabad) region.
His last rites will be performed with full state honours on Friday, he added.