Former Gujarat CM Dilip Parikh dies; PM pays tribute

Gujarat Former CM Dilip Parikh. (Photo: Blind People's Association India)

Former Gujarat Chief Minister Dilip Parikh died on Friday at a private hospital here following a prolonged illness, said his family members.

He was 82.

Parikh served as the 13th Chief Minister of Gujarat between October 1997 and March 1998 when he was with the Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP), floated by Shankersinh Vaghela, who had split the BJP. Parikh's government was supported by the Congress.

Parikh, who started his political career in the mid-1990s as a BJP MLA, was an industrialist and also served as president of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Parikh and said he worked for the people of Gujarat with utmost dedication.

"Dilipbhai Parikh made a mark in the world of industry and public service. He worked for the people of Gujarat with utmost dedication.

"His affable nature endeared him to people across all walks of life. Saddened by his demise. My condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti!" Modi tweeted.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also paid tributes to the departed leader through a tweet.

"Saddened by the demise of Shri Dilip Parikh Ji - Former Chief Minister of Gujarat. I pray for the departed soul. I express my deepest condolences to his family and friends," Rupani said.

In 1996, when Vaghela revolted and split the BJP, Parikh joined the Kshatriya strongman and his new party RJP. Vaghela then became the CM with the Congress's support.

However, when Congress threatened to withdraw support a year later due to differences, Vaghela stepped down.

Under a compromise formula, Parikh, Vaghela's trusted aide, was sworn in as the CM in October 1997 and remained in office till March 1998, when the BJP retained power by winning the Assembly polls.

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