New Delhi: The foster son-in-law of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ranjan Kishore Bhattacharya will perform the last rites at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal. Mr Bhattacharya, during the 13 day government in 1996, was his officer on special duty.
Before Vajpayee returned to political favour in 1996, Bhattacharya was a relatively unknown commodity, known only to a few in the hotel trade. Married to Namita, Vajpayee’s foster daughter, in 1983, he kept his distance from the hurly burly of both politics and the party circuit.
In May 1996, Bhattacharya’s life was transformed. Vajpayee was sworn in as prime minister, an office he held for just 13 days. During this brief stint, Vajpayee made few appointments.
The only significant one was the selection of Bhattacharya as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Prime Minister’s Office. It raised a few eyebrows in a BJP unused to familial preferences in politics. But the matter was quickly forgotten amid the drama of the government’s fall.