Madhya Pradesh governor Lalji Tandon died on Tuesday at the age of 85. He was admitted to Lucknow’s Medanta hospital on June 11 after complaining of breathlessness, difficulty in urination and fever.

Leaders cutting across party lines have condoled Tandon’s death. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, other central ministers and chief ministers also expressed shock and paid tributes to Tandon.

He is survived by wife Krishna Tandon and three sons. One of his son, Ashutosh Tandon, is a minister in Uttar Pradesh government.

Tandon was born in Chowk in Lucknow on April 12, 1935, to Shivnarayan Tandon and Annpurna Devi.

He entered Uttar Pradesh assembly as a Member of Legislative Council (MLC) in 1978. He again entered the upper house in 1990 and it was during this second term as MLC, when he became a minister for the first time.

Tandon was given charge of the power ministry in Uttar Pradesh.

Tandon started contesting UP Assembly elections from 1996 and became MLA thrice between 1996 to 2009. From 1997 to 1999, he was the UP urban development minister.

He held a number of portfolios in his long political career.

Before becoming Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Tandon served as Bihar Governor from August 2018 to July 2019. He won the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat in 2009.

He was considered close to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

PM Modi said Tandon will be remembered for his untiring efforts to serve society. “He played a key role in strengthening the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. He made a mark as an effective administrator, always giving importance of public welfare. Anguished by his passing away,” PM Modi tweeted.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh also condoled Tandon’s death and remembered his as one of the tallest leaders of Uttar Pradesh.