New Delhi, Aug 7: Veteran Congress leader Rajinder Kumar Dhawan passed away on Monday at the age of 81. R K Dhawan came into the spotlight after he was appointed as Indira Gandhi's personal assistant.
A member of the Congress Working Committee, Dhawan was with India Gandhi from 1962 to 1984, until the day she was assassinated. He was also part of the innermost circle of Indira Gandhi at the time of Emergency between 1975 and 1977.
As personal assistant to the Prime Minister, he attained unparalleled power and influence particularly during India's Emergency. As the "door keeper" to the Prime Minister, he was well positioned to control information and access and proved himself instrumental in civil service appointments. He studied in Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Dehradun and Banaras Hindu University.
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The head of an investigating commission, Justice M P Thakkar, described Dhawan's responses to questioning on the assassination of Indira Gandhi as unreliable and said that the needle of suspicion significantly points to his complicity or involvement. However, Indira's son, Rajiv, after initially removing Dhawan from his post, cleared him of all charges.
On 16 July 2012, Dhawan married Achla, at the age of 74, ending his bachelorhood of so many decades.