Daya Krishan Kotwal


Daya Krishan Kotwal

 (1927 – 2013)

Former State president of BJP and veteran party leader, Daya Krishan Kotwal, breathed his last on April 9, after a prolonged illness at AIIMS, New Delhi. He was 86. Kotwal was born in village Udrana of hilly Bhaderwah tehsil of Doda district.

A contemporary and close associate of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Kotwal belonged to the mountainous belt of Jammu and Kashmir. He was associated with Praja Parishad and Bharatiya Jana Sangh since his teenages.

He remained president of State BJP from 1996 to 2002 –the most challenging period of the militancy and turmoil in the state. He was also elected to Upper House and remained its member from 1996 to 2000.

Kotwal was known for playing a distinctive role in preventing communal divide among the Hindus and Muslim communities in the erstwhile Doda district. He was equally respected by members of all communities in erstwhile Doda district.

“I have learned with profound sorrow about the tragic demise of Kotwal and my heart goes out in sympathy to the members of the bereaved family. We have lost a seasoned politician who throughout his life upheld the values of honesty and probity’,’ said Ghulam Nabi Azad while expressing his grief and shock over the demise of Kotwal.

Kotwal’s death is considered as a great loss for state BJP, which is already in shambles. It suffered a split after the previous Legislative Council Polls when five of its frontline leaders were expelled by the party high command on the charges of cross voting in favor of National Conference candidates.

The split in state BJP had apparently helped the state wing of Congress. As the party was trying hard to come out of the shock and damage caused by the split, the demise of Kotwal might have its impact. Kotwal’s presence was, in fact, a moral boost for BJP and he was passing his advices whenever and wherever required.

Accepting the moral responsibility of party’s debacle in 2002 assembly elections, Kotwal submitted his resignation from the president’s post. Even though he was asked to continue by the then party chief M Venkaiah Naidu, he did not listen to him either.

Kotwal’s name and fame brought a large number of people from all walks of life to attend his cremation. The body of Kotwal was consigned to flames at Gatha Cremation Ground in Bhaderwah. Shakeer Kotwal, the son of the firebrand patriarch, lit the funeral pyre.


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