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H. K. L. Bhagat
|Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting|
February 1983 – December 1984
February 1988 – December 1989
|Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs|
31 December 1984 – 2 December 1989
|Born||4 April 1921|
Sahiwal, Punjab, British India
|Died||29 October 2005|
New Delhi, India
Hari Krishan Lal Bhagat (4 April 1921 – 29 October 2005) was an Indian politician of the Congress party. He served as the Deputy Mayor and Mayor of Delhi, the chief whip of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC), and as a six-time MP and Union minister for 22 years.
Huge Mass Leader
A strong Indira Gandhi loyalist, and strong leader in Delhi in the 1980s, Bhagat won six consecutive elections by large margins, and was responsible for a Congress comeback in the 1980 and 1983 elections in Delhi. He was known to have a strong group in the Congress Party, and won his first Lok Sabha election in 1980 from the East Delhi constituency in Delhi. He grew in political stature after Congress' victory in the local elections of 1983 which led him to be known as the ‘Uncrowned King of Delhi’ for many a years. He held ministerial positions, including of Information and Broadcasting, Parliamentary Affairs and Law, and made the state-run TV "Doordarshan" the Congress party's mouthpiece during the mid to late 1980s.
Bhagat's career declined after losing from East Delhi in 1991. Towards the end of his political career, he was named by the Nanavati Commission for an alleged involvement in the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots. The Commission concluded that there was "credible evidence". The government ultimately declined to prosecute Bhagat because of his poor health by that time. He was acquitted by the courts in both cases citing lack of evidence as many witnesses including his security personnel testifying that Bhagat was next to late PM Indira Gandhi's body for 3 days and did not leave her premises. The then Lieutenant Governor of Delhi also testified to Nanavati commission that HKL Bhagat called him multiple times asking for the Army to be brought in.
Bhagat died in a hospital after prolonged illness and he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He is survived by DPCC gen secretary, his son Deepak Bhagat.