Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal passed away on Tuesday, less than a week after he was admitted to a private hospital in Gurgaon following complaints of breathlessness. "Mr Singhal died at 2.24 pm at Medanta Medicity hospital in Gurgaon," said Pravin Togadia. The 89-year-old Singhal was on Saturday admitted to Medanta hospital after his health deteriorated. He was suffering from respiratory problems for over a month. "He had multi-organ dysfunction, ARDS and sepsis and was being treated by a team of specialists," said Medical Superintendent Dr AK Dubey. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief and said that Ashok Singhalji's death was a personal loss. "He was an institution in himself, whose life was centred around serving the nation," the PM tweeted.
A bachelor and an RSS pracharak all his life, Singhal, adopted an aggressive style in the "kar sewak" campaign in the build up to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December, 1992. A metallurgy engineering graduate from Banaras Hindu University, he pitchforked the organisation in the Ayodhya Ram temple movement and sought to internationalise it by recruiting supporters and organising branches world wide. The overseas supporters contributed immensely to the VHP campaign.