Veteran Congress leader Shamsher Singh Surjewala died in Delhi on Monday after a prolonged illness. He was 87.
The former Rajya Sabha MP and five-time MLA had been undergoing treatment at AIIMS, Delhi. His body was taken to Narwana in Haryana where his cremation was held later in the day. The funeral pyre was lit by his son, senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala.
Party leader Rahul Gandhi reached AIIMS soon after he got to know of the veteran leader’s demise. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also expressed their condolences.
Apart from being a four-time minister in the Haryana government, Shamsher Singh Surjewala had also held the posts of Haryana PCC president and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly.
He had won the Assembly polls from Narwana constituency in 1967, 1977, 1987 and 1991 before moving to neighbouring Kaithal from where he emerged victorious in the 2005 Vidhan Sabha election. He remained an important player in the Congress for long and was seen as a contender for chief ministership as well. During his long tenure as president of the All India Kisan Congress, he frequently raised the issue of farmer suicides.
“In his illustrious career he donned several mantles, both as part of the ruling dispensation and as leader of the opposition in Haryana. His dedication towards the people and the Congress party remained undiminished even in the face of great adversity. Under his leadership, the Congress party built a formidable organisation in Haryana. He also remained a dedicated champion of farmers’ rights and spearheaded several notable movements,” said Sonia in her condolence message to Surjewala’s wife Vidya.fcrime
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