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.
“Shri Buta Singh ji was an experienced administrator and effective voice for the welfare of the poor as well as downtrodden. Saddened by his passing away. My condolences to his family and supporters,” PM Modi wrote.
Shri Buta Singh Ji was an experienced administrator and effective voice for the welfare of the poor as well as downtrodden. Saddened by his passing away. My condolences to his family and supporters.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 2, 2021
Mr Singh’s death was also condoled by 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.
Sharing throwback pictures with former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and former chief minister of Haryana, Bhajan Lal – his father – Mr Bishoni remembered Mr Singh for their close friendship.
“Deeply saddened to hear the demise of former Union Minster Sardar Buta Singh ji, a senior leader and a very close friend of my late father. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. RIP,” he wrote.
Deeply saddened to hear the demise of former Union Minster Sardar Buta Singh ji, a senior leader and a very close friend of my late father. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. RIP???? pic.twitter.com/BrN2GKZhvx
— Kuldeep Bishnoi (@bishnoikuldeep) January 2, 2021
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 election to the Parliament in 1962. Over the years, he served as the country’s minister for Home Affairs, Agriculture, Railways, Commerce and Sports, besides other ministries. He was also an elected MP from Rajasthan.
Mr Singh’s last political assignment was as a two-year term as Governor of Bihar in 2004, after which he only held organisational posts within the Congress.