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Ex-mayor Dauji Gupta dies of post-Covid complications

LUCKNOW: Veteran politician and former Lucknow mayor, Dauji Gupta, passed away in the city on Sunday following post-Covid complications. He was 84.
Dauji had been recuperating at his home in Naka Hindola after testing Covid positive on April 18. He had tested negative for the virus three days ago, his family said. He had also taken both the doses of vaccination against Covid.
“He had recovered from the infection and had tested negative like the rest of us at home. But he was experiencing extreme weakness and was unable to eat anything for the past few days. He was being fed nutrition through drip. We took him to a hospital when his condition deteriorated on Sunday but he could not be saved,” his grandson Satvik Gupta told TOI.
Dauji was three-time mayor of Lucknow from 1971 to1992. He also served as six-time MLC from 1997 to 2003.
Regarded as a father figure and a reservoir of knowledge on Lucknow’s history and culture, Dauji headed several organisations associated with the promotion of Hindi literature and language.
Politician and Dauji’s close aide Amir Haider said, “Dauji Gupta was a living example of Lucknow’s culture and poise. He and Lucknow were intertwined. The city has lost one of its diamonds. I had spoken to him over phone two days ago and his condition seemed fragile, but I never knew it was my last conversation with him. He was a treasure trove of knowledge and a staunch opponent of communal forces.”
CPI leader Atul Anjaan also paid tribute to his dear friend. “He was fluent in at least 12 languages. Hindi caught his heart in his youth and he tirelessly worked towards giving Hindi its due. He was a flag bearer of the rights of Dalits and OBCs and was responsible for organising the group as one.” “Along with former Delhi CM Chaudhary Brahm Prakash, he fought for the economic, social and political rights of Dalits and OBCs which ultimately led to the birth of Mandal Commission. We will be indebted to him for the work he did for Lucknow and its people,” he added.
Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia said, “Dauji played a pivotal role in establishing Lucknow as a developed city. We have lost a good person. May God give strength to his family in this time of crisis.” Tributes also poured in for him on social media. Covid-19 had also claimed the life of former deputy mayor of Lucknow, Abhay Seth (66), in July last year. Lucknow West MLA Suresh Srivastava, too, succumbed to the virus last month.

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