Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Narayan Dutt Tiwari died at a private hospital in New Delhi on Thursday following a prolonged illness. He was 92 and is survived with his son and wife. Famous for his candid relationship with the people, temperament, and knowledge, ND was sidelined by Congress after the sex scandal at Andhra Pradesh Governor House in 2009.
Born on 18 October 1925, Narayan Dutt Tiwari served as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh thrice and Uttarakhand once. He served as the Union Minister of External Affairs in the Rajiv Gandhi government. The political career of the veteran Congress leader suffered a major blow after the 2009 sex scandal- which forced him to quit from the post of Andhra Pradesh’s Governor.
After Congress was voted to power in Uttarakhand in 2001, Congress rejected the claim of Harish Rawat and decided to opt for an experienced ND. The experiment paid rich dividends, with a large number of industrialists setting up their units in the hill state. Tiwari managed to provide industry development a major boost in Uttarakhand during his tenure. His vast administrative experience and contacts helped in the overall development of the new state.
But, the veteran Congress leader had to face party infighting. An annoyed Harish Rawat continued to create hurdles for Tiwari and to keep the political leader happy the CM was forced to distribute red beacon posts like peanuts. This became a major political issue and saw the defeat of Congress in 2007 state assembly polls.
After serving as Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Tiwari had the urge to serve at the centre. Many senior Congress leaders were fearful of the talent of Tiwari and tried to keep him at bay. In 2007, ND was appointed as Andhra Pradesh Governor, where he remained in office for two years. Many political experts term it a “Punishment posting.”
After the Andhra Pradesh Governor House sex scam, Tiwari returned to Dehradun to live a low life. His supporters snubbed him in troubled times. Congress completely rejected him. Despite this, the veteran politician never made any complaint. His only pain was that the Congress never provided him a chance to clarify his stand on the scam and his long services in the party were completely ignored.
Born in 1925 at Baluti village in district Nainital, ND Tiwari made it big in Indian politics despite belonging to a farmer’s family. He participated in the freedom struggle and used to narrate tales of the independence movement. Always smiling and welcoming guests, Tiwari had something magnetic to leave a deep mark on all who used to meet him.
During his last days, Tiwari made efforts to settle his biological son Rohit Shekhar in UP/Uttarakhand politics. In a move to get a Congress ticket for his son, Tiwari approached the then Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat and other leaders many times in 2016. After receiving no positive response from Uttarakhand Congress, 91-year-old Tiwari changed gear to take BJP’s help and met BJP national president Amit Shah in January last year in New Delhi to fuel speculation of joining BJP.
He interacted with Samajwadi Party and BJP but nothing materialized on the field. Tiwari had a close relationship with leaders of different parties. All used to respect him for his friendly approach. Famous for his flamboyant lifestyle, ND was respected by all for his development works.