President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders from across the political spectrum on Sunday condoled the death of former cricketer and UP Cabinet minister Chetan Chauhan due to coronavirus.
Chetan Chauhan, 73, died at a Gurgaon hospital on Sunday.
In his condolence message, President Kovind said, “Sad to hear that UP cabinet minister Shri Chetan Chauhan is no more. A cricketer par excellence, Chetan Chauhan was a down to earth politician and an outstanding parliamentarian. Condolences to his family, friends, and countless fans.”
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said he was “deeply saddened” by the demise of Chetan Chauhan.
“He made immense contribution towards the development of cricket and also served as the Member of Parliament for two terms,” M Venkaiah Naidu”s office wrote on Twitter.
In his condolence message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Shri Chetan Chauhan Ji distinguished himself as a wonderful cricketer and later as a diligent political leader.”
“He made effective contributions to public service and strengthening the BJP in UP. Anguished by his passing away. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti,” Narendra Modi tweeted.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said his demise is a big loss for the Indian politics and cricket.
“Shri Chetan Chauhan, the minister in the Uttar Pradesh government and former cricketer, served the country first as a sportsman and later as a public servant. His death is a great loss for Indian politics and cricket. I express my condolences to his family. Om Shanti,” Shah tweeted.
BJP president J P Nadda recalled Chauhan”s “invaluable” contribution to strengthening the party’s organisation in Uttar Pradesh and said the former cricketer was an inspiration to youngsters.
“He carved a space for himself in sports as well as politics. His demise is a huge loss for us,” J P Nadda tweeted.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “Memories of us working together in 1970s-80 in the Bank of Maharashtra are still fresh in my mind. May God give strength to his family and fans, to bear the loss. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar also expressed sadness over Chauhan”s demise, “He was a fine opener, and along with Sunil Gavaskar had some memorable opening partnerships for India. Condolences to his family and friends. May he RIP,” Sharad Pawar tweeted.
Expressing grief over Chauhan’s demise, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “I would fondly remember the time we spent playing cricket against each other in Lok Sabha Vs Rajya Sabha matches.”
Meanwhile, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath described Chauhan”s demise as an “irreparable loss”.
“He was a popular sportsperson as well as a leader. As a minister, he discharged his duties effectively. He was elected to the Lok Sabha twice. Shri Chauhan always honored the aspirations of the public,” the CM added.
UP Governor Anandiben Patel remembered Chauhan as a “soft-spoken, hardworking and active leader”.
Speaker of the UP Legislative Assembly Hriday Narayan Dixit in a tweet said he was “anguished by the untimely death of Chetan Chauhan”.
Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said Chauhan’s demise is “extremely saddening”.
“It is an irreparable loss. We have lost another cabinet colleague in the form of Chetan Chauhan and it will be difficult to fill the void. A simple person and brilliant orator, Chetan Chauhan will be remembered as a source of inspiration,” Keshav Prasad Maurya said.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he was saddened by the news. “I pray to God to give peace to the departed soul and strength to his family to bear this loss,” he said in a tweet.
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat remembered Chauhan for his contribution to the Indian cricket and said he devoted his life to public service through politics.
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar tweeted, “Saddened to hear the demise of Chauhan.” “May the departed soul rest in peace,” he said, adding “May god give strength to the bereaved family to bear the tragic loss”.
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh tweeted, “Saddened to hear of UP Minister and former cricketer #ChetanChauhan”s death due to #Covid19. I pray for strength to his family, friends and fans.”
“I urge everyone to vigilantly follow all precautions against the #Covid19 pandemic,” he added.
Taking to Twitter, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik said, “As a sportsperson and later as an administrator, he cemented a legacy. My condolences to the bereaved family.”
In his condolence message, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said Chauhan was a famous cricketer, who played an active role in politics after retiring from the game.
He said Chetan Chauhan’s death has caused “an irreparable loss” to sports, society and politics.
Meanwhile, BSP leader and Amroha MP Danish Ali tweeted, “I spoke to him the day he tested positive. He was feeling upbeat but unfortunately, he couldn’t defeat COVID-19. My heartfelt condolences.”
Chetan Chauhan is the second Uttar Pradesh minister who has died from the infection.
On August 2, UP Minister for Technical Education, Kamal Rani Varun, had succumbed to COVID-19 at a Lucknow hospital.
Chetan Chauhan, 73, was a BJP MLA from UP”s Naugawan Sadat and was holding the portfolio of Sainik Welfare, Home Guards, PRD and Civil Security.
He was a two-time Lok Sabha MP from Amroha (1991 and 1998).
Chetan Chauhan is survived by his wife and son Vinayak.