Patriarch who built RSS, BJP base dies

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 4.11.12
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Patna, Nov. 3: BJP patriarch Kailashpati Mishra passed away at his Patna home on Saturday.

He was 89 and a bachelor.

Mishra, who died this morning after complaining of acute breathing problem last night, started his political career as an RSS pracharak in the 1940s.

Senior leaders like chief minister Nitish Kumar, leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly Abdul Bari Siddiqui, RJD MP Ram Kripal Yadav, Legislative Council chairman Awadesh Narayan Singh and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi rushed to Mishra’s home at Kautilya Nagar to pay their respects.

BJP top guns such as L.K. Advani, Narendra Modi, leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her counterpart in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, party general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan and national spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad are scheduled to attend Mishra’s funeral tomorrow.

Nitish said Mishra would be cremated with full state honours on the banks of the Ganga after 5pm. He summed up Mishra’s death as the “end of an era” and “an irreparable loss not only to Bihar but the nation as whole”. Mishra had participated in the Quit India movement in 1942 and left home in his high school days to become a lifetime pracharak of the RSS in 1945.

Thereafter, he went on to build the base of the RSS, the Jan Sangh and later the BJP. He even earned the sobriquet of “Bhishma Pitamah” of the BJP. Mishra had served the RSS as the pracharak, moving out to various Bihar districts for 20 years since he joined the outfit in 1945. He later shifted to the Jan Sangh. He was the founding president of the state BJP unit that came into existence after breaking out of the Janata Party.

He enjoyed close proximity to the party’s top guns like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani. Mishra also served as the mentor to Sushil Modi, Nandkishore Yadav, Awadhesh Narayan Singh, Sukhada Pandey, Ashwini Choubey and several other senior BJP leaders. “Kailashji was our guide, guru, philosopher and more,” said Sushil Modi.

Besides serving the state legislature from Vikram and being a member of the Rajya Sabha (1984-90), Mishra served as the governor of Gujarat and Rajasthan from May 2003 to July 2004. His gubernatorial stint ended when the UPA government replaced the NDA in 2004.