Veteran Congress leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Pandit Mangat Ram Sharma breathed his last at his residence in Jammu on Thursday. Six times member of the State Legislature, he had also been elected to the Lok Sabha once from Jammu-Poonch parliamentary constituency. He was 90 and he had not been keeping well for past some time.
Sharma, who had served the state in different capacities, had been Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly. He became Deputy Chief Minister in the PDP-Congress coalition government formed by then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed after the 2002 assembly elections.
Survived by six sons, daughters-in-law and grand children, he had also served as Block Development Officer for a brief period. However, he resigned from service to join politics.
He played an important role in cooperative movement in the state and he successfully headed the Kathua district cooperative society for some years before he became a member of the legislative council. Always known for his pro-public approach and meeting everybody with a smile, he was a popular leader among the people.