Congress Leader, Ex-Union Minister Buta Singh Dies At 86, Tributes Pour In

Buta Singh joined the Congress party under Jawaharlal Nehru’s leadership in the 1960s.

New Delhi:

Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Buta Singh died at AIIMS-Delhi early on Saturday morning. He was 86 years old. He was in a coma since October last year after he suffered a brain hemorrhage.

His demise was announced by his son Arvinder Singh Lovely Sidhu on Facebook. “My father, Buta Singh, passed away today morning. May Waheguru bless his soul,” read the post in Hindi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the country in condoling the death of Mr Singh, who was a member of the Shiromani Akali Dal before joining the Congress in the 1960s.

Tributes also poured in from President Ram Nath Kovind, Congress’ Rahul Gandhi, Ashok Gehlot, and Kuldeep Bishnoi, besides many others including, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

“The country has lost a true public servant and a loyal leader with the death of Sardar Buta Singh Ji. He devoted his entire life to service of the country and people’s well-being. For this, he will always be remembered. My condolences to his family members during this difficult time,” Mr Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.

“Sad to learn about the demise of former Union minister, senior Congress leader and former MP from Rajasthan, Shri Buta Singh ji. My heartfelt condolences to his family members in this difficult time, may God give them strength to bear this loss. May his soul rest in peace,” Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wrote about the former four-time MP from state’s Jalore.

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Sharing Buta Singh’s throwback pictures with former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and former chief minister of Haryana, Bhajan Lal – his father – Mr Bishoni remembered their close friendship.

Born in 1934 in Punjab’s Jalandhar, Buta Singh joined the Congress under Jawaharlal Nehru’s leadership and was close to Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, both.

The nine-time legislator was first elected to the Parliament in 1962. Over the years, he served as the Home Minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government from 1986 to 1989, and National President of Scheduled Caste Commission, besides minister for Agriculture, Railways, Commerce and Sports, among other ministries.

Mr Singh’s last political assignment was a two-year term as the Governor of Bihar in 2004, after which he only held organisational posts within the Congress.

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