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Rajasthan: Former finance minister Manik Chand Surana no more


Rajasthan’s former finance minister Manik Chand Surana on Wednesday breathed his last after a prolonged illness. He was 90-years-old.

Surana who tested positive for coronavirus was successful in recovering from the infection, but he could not combat the post-COVID complications. He was admitted to Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur, where he was undergoing his treatment.

Political experts said that Surana has always been a socialist and even during the Independence movement, he had raised his voice against the royal family of the then Bikaner state. As he was against the members of the royal family, he was not granted admission in college and he was forced to go to Kolkata (then Calcutta) to pursue his education.

Manik Chand Surana, after obtaining his MA LLB from the Calcutta University, returned to Bikaner to work for the farmers along with Raghuvar Goyal and Mool Chand Sharma, the other two famous socialists of the region.

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Always clad in a khadi coat, he was first elected to the Rajasthan Vidhan sabha on Praja Socialist Party (PSP) ticket in 1962. Later, under the influence of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, he joined the BJP and became the finance minister.

Manik Chand Surana denied ticket by BJP in 2013

He was not given a ticket by the BJP in 2013 as he was growing old. Annoyed with this decision, he contested as an independent and won and Vasundhara Raje made him the chairman of the Rajasthan Finance Commission.

Surana was a Jain Oswal and had no caste base for pursuing his politics, but as he was always eager to take up the issues of the farmers. Due to his work, he had earned respect for himself in the Bikaner district.

After the split in the Praja Socialist Party, Surana still continued as a socialist and won three Vidhan Sabha elections.

But, people did not like his joining the BJP because as a socialist, he had always been critical of the BJP describing it as a communal party. But he crossed over to the BJP largely because of Shekhawat.


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