Jaipur, May 15 - Former Vice- President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (87) passed away this morning, two days after he was admitted to a hospital here complaining of uneasiness and breathing problems.

He breathed his last at 11.10 am at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital, said Dr. Narpat Singh, Superintendent of the hospital.

Shekhawat's condition deteriorated this morning and he was put on ventilator, said Ashok Pangaria, another doctor at the hospital. The former Vice-President was admitted to the ICU of the SMS hospital on the night of May 13. Doctors said he suffered from lung and chest infection.

Shekhawat, who was suffering from lung infection, died of cardiac arrest, Dr Pangaria said.

Born on October 23, 1923, in Khachariyawas, a small village in Sikar district, he was sworn-in as the country's 12th Vice-President on August 19, 2002. Shekhawat was the only member of the Rajasthan Assembly to have won in every Assembly election since 1952, except 1972 when he lost from Gandhi Nagar in Jaipur.

He was also elected to the Rajya Sabha from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh in 1974.

Shekhawat enjoyed the distinction of heading three non-Congress governments in the State in 1977-1980, 1990-1992 and 1993-1998.

His tenure as the Chief Minister of the desert State was marked by pragmatism as his government launched path-breaking policies.

His brainchild — the Antyodaya scheme to help the poorest of the poor — brought international accolades for Shekhawat with the then World Bank Chief Robert McNamara describing him as the Rockfeller of India.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore