We have witnessed several unfortunate events in the year 2020 -- which wasn't really kind to many. While COVID-19 killed millions of people across the world, India also lost several popular politicians this year.
As 2020 comes to end, here is a tribute to political stalwarts we lost this year.
Pranab MukherjeeFormer President and a Congress stalwart, Pranab Mukherjee died at the age of 84 on August 31, 2020. He served as the 13th President of India from 2012-2017. He was in septic shock due to a lung infection. Also, he had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain. Post-surgery, he went into a deep coma. He was on ventilator support at the Army's Research and Referral (R&R) hospital in Delhi for several days before breathing his last.
He was elected twice to Lok Sabha and to Rajya Sabha five times. Pranab Mukherjee also served in various capacities as Minister for Commerce, Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Defence, and Minister of Finance.
Ram Vilas Paswan
The popular politician from Bihar and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan passed away on October 8, 2020. His demise was confirmed by his son Chirag Paswan. Ram Vilas Paswan was one of the country's most noted Dalit leaders.
The 74-year-old was the Lok Janshakti Party founder. He had been in active politics for more than five decades. He was the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in Narendra Modi-led government.
A few days before his death, he had undergone heart surgery and was hospitalized for a few weeks. He was cremated at Patna's Janardan Ghat on October 10, 2020.
Senior Congress leader and one of Sonia Gandhi's closest political advisers, Ahmed Patel died on November 25 due to multiple organ failure. He breathed his last in a Gurugram hospital after suffering from complications related to COVID-19. The veteran politician had been at Medanta Hospital since his health worsened after a the viral infection. The 71-year-old leader served as the Congress's backroom strategist for years. He was one of the closest aides of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her political adviser for a long time.
Known as a trouble-shooter, Patel was an eight-time parliamentarian -- five times in the Rajya Sabha, three times in the Lok Sabha. At the time of his death, he was also the Congress treasurer, a post that he held thrice.
Former Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh died in Singapore on August 1, 2020 due to kidney failure. He was 64. Singh was admitted to a hospital in Singapore to undergo treatment for kidney-related ailments.
Born on January 27, 1956 at Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, Singh was a flamboyant businessman-politician, who once counted India's most influential icons from industry, politics and Bollywood among his closest friends, including megastar Amitabh Bachchan. He floated his own party Rashtriya Lok Manch in 2011.
Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon passed away at Lucknow's Medanta Hospital on July 21, 2020 following a long illness. He was 85.
A former Lok Sabha MP, belonging to the Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani era of BJP leaders, was known as an able administrator. He was considered close to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Congress stalwart and former chief minister of undivided Madhya Pradesh Motilal Vora passed away at a private hospital in Delhi on December 21, a day after celebrating his 93rd birthday.
Motilal Vora had also served as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh and held key positions in the Congress during his decades-long political career. He was a Rajya Sabha MP from Chhattisgarh till April this year and had held several positions in the party, including the post of treasurer.
Former Assam Chief Minister and Congress leader Tarun Gogoi breathed his last on November 23, 2020 due to multiple organ failure. Gogoi had tested positive for the coronavirus on August 25 and was admitted to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital the next day. He had been given a blood plasma transplant. He had recovered from COVID-19 and was discharged from the hospital after two months. He had been battling for his life with COVID-19 complications and had to be re-admitted on November 2. He was put on non-invasive ventilation till his condition deteriorated
He had had multiple heart surgeries during the latter part of his second term as chief minister, including Bypass surgery, Aortic valve replacement, and a procedure to artificially enlarge the aorta at Mumbai's Asian Heart Institute. He had additional surgery just before the election for his third term in 2011, to replace his Artificial cardiac pacemaker. He went on to lead his party to a third term victory, recovering from these health issues.
Apart from these leaders, Veteran Congress leader Ramkrishna Dwivedi, former parliamentarian Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deo, former Karnataka Governor TN Chaturvedi, Ajit Jogi, Bhanwar Lal Sharma, Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, SL Dharme Gowda, Suresh Angadi are among the names whose demise left a void in the political circuit.