Adityanath’s father dies; UP CM says can’t attend funeral

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s father Anand Bisht died on Monday and will be cremated in Haridwar at a funeral which will not be attended by the CM, who said he is duty-bound to stay in his State.

Bisht, 89, was admitted to the gastroenterology department of the AIIMS after his health deteriorated. His condition was critical, sources at the hospital said.

He died at 10.44 a.m., according to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi.

Bisht’s last rites will take place in Haridwar in Uttarakhand on April 21, Media Advisor to the Chief Minister Mrityunjay Kumar said

In a statement, the Chief Minister said, “I had the ardent wish to get a glimpse of him at the final moment. However, following a sense of duty towards the State’s 23 crore people during the COVID-19 pandemic, I could not do so.”

“For the success of the lockdown and the strategy to defeat the novel coronavirus pandemic, I will be unable to attend the last rites on April 21,” Mr. Adityanath said.

“I am deeply saddened by the demise of my respected father. He instilled in me the values of honesty, hardwork and selfless service for public welfare in childhood itself,” he said.

Even as the news of his father’s demise reached, Mr. Adityanath continued with a meeting with officials, whom he directed to ensure that the students of Uttar Pradesh who have returned from coaching hub Kota are quarantined at their homes.

Adityanath appealed to his mother and acquaintances to follow lockdown norms and said a small number of people should attend his father’s the last rites.

“I offer salutations to the numerous memories of father and offer heartfelt condolences. Will visit after the lockdown is over,” he said in the statement.

Director for Information Shishir told PTI that a meeting of officials of the core group on COVID-19 was going on since 10 a.m. It was during this meeting that the Chief Minister got the information that his father has passed away, he said.

“Despite getting the sad news, he continued with the meeting, and got up only after giving necessary directions to the officials. Even after getting the news of the demise of his father, the chief minister went ahead with the meeting for almost 45 minutes,” Shishir said.

The meeting was held at Mr. Adityanath’s office in the Lok Bhavan in Lucknow.

Mr. Shishir said the Chief Minister also directed that students from Kota should be allowed to go to their homes after they had downloaded the Aarogya Setu app related to COVID-19.

“Directions were also issued to establish testing laboratories in medical colleges, where labs are not there,” he said.

The Chief Minister also reviewed ration distribution for the poor and community kitchens, the officer said.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, State Assembly Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have condoled the Bisht’s demise.

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