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Home > News > Report

PM expresses sadness at Chandra Shekhar's death

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | July 08, 2007 18:36 IST
Last Updated: July 08, 2007 19:07 IST

Prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh [Images] has called the passing away of former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar a big blow to the nation. Dr Singh called him a truly secular nationalist and he had the benefit of his trust and affection.

Dr Singh and Congress President Mrs Sonia Gandhi visited the South Avenue residence of former PM and paid homage to him. Union cabinet would meet at five in the evening at South Block to decide on the modalities of state funneral to be accorded to him. The only thing that remains to be decided whether it would take place in Delhi or Balia at 4 pm on Monday.

A journalist remembers Chandra Shekhar

"I received the news of the passing away of former Prime Minister Chandra Shekharji with profound sadness. I had the privilege and pleasure of working with him when he was prime minister and have had the benefit of his sage advice, abiding trust and sincere affection for me over the years. In recent months, I was deeply moved by the courage with which he fought his illness and soldiered on.

He "...was a truly secular nationalist, a man of the people, committed to their welfare and well-being.  He belonged to a generation that felt deeply about the importance of ideals and idealism in politics. During his brief tenure as Prime Minister, he steered the ship of our nation and economy through stormy waters with statesmanship and wisdom. He was not afraid of taking unpopular decisions if these were in the larger national interest and served the nation in the long term," Dr Singh noted.

"Country has lost a distinguished son and a great patriot who was passionately committed to sustained development and social equity.  I convey my heartfelt condolences to his family and millions of his admirers across our country."