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Veteran Congress leader RK Dhawan passes away at 81

RK Dhawan was a close aide of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He was also a witness in the assassination case of the former PM. 

Senior Congress leader RK Dhawan. (Express file photo by Renuka Puri) RK Dhawan started out as Indira Gandhi’s personal assistant and was with her from 1962, until the day she was assassinated in 1984. (Express file photo by Renuka Puri)

Former Union minister and veteran Congress leader Rajinder Kumar Dhawan passed away at B L Kapur hospital in the national capital around 7 pm on Monday. He was 81.

The former Rajya Sabha MP, who was a close aide of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday for age-related ailments.

Expressing its condolences to the family of the senior leader, the Congress tweeted, “We’re saddened to hear about the passing away of RK Dhawan, a valued member of the Congress party. Our thought and prayers are with his family tonight.”

Read | Who is RK Dhawan?

Dhawan started out as Gandhi’s personal assistant and was with her from 1962, until the day she was assassinated in 1984. The senior Congress leader was also a part of the former PM’s innermost circle during the Emergency years (1975-77). Along with Ambika Soni and Kamal Nath, Dhawan was among the key characters of that period.

Read | Indira Gandhi paid for Emergency. If bad things had not happened… she would never have lost the elections: RK Dhawan

Dhawan got married to Achla on July 16, 2012.

Several political leaders and ministers took to Twitter to pay their tributes to the veteran leader:

Former President Pranab Mukherjee expressed shock at the veteran leader’s demise. He tweeted, “Deeply shocked at passing away of Shri RK Dhawan. Though he was ailing I had never expected that the end will come so soon. A close associate and colleague in Party and Government, he will forever be fondly remembered.”

Congress’ communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said, “Our homage to veteran Congress leader, Sh. R.K.Dhawan, who breathed his last today. His tireless spirit, immeasurable commitment & untiring dedication to the Congress ideals will always be remembered. RIP.”

AICC general secretary and former chief minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot said the Dhawan’s contribution to the party will always be remembered. “Saddened by the passing away of senior Congress leader and former RajyaSabha MP Sh. RK Dhawan ji… His contribution for Congress party will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his family members in this hour of grief. May God give them strength to bear this loss. RIP,” he posted on the micro-blogging site.


Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said Dhawan would be remembered as an “astute politician and loyal soldier”. “Shocked and saddened at the demise of Shri RK Dhawan Ji. Had worked closely with him in @INCIndia and would always remember him as an astute politician and loyal soldier of the party. May he rest in peace and may God give his family the courage to bear the loss,” he posted on the micro-blogging site.

First published on: 06-08-2018 at 20:43 IST
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