I.K. Gujral's death widely condoled
Cutting across party lines, leaders of various political outfits on Friday condoled the demise of former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral.
Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that he got to learn a lot from the former Prime Minister.
"I express my condolences. I had a personal relationship. I learnt a lot from him. This is a great loss for the country. I express my condolences to the family
He was a great parliamentarian," he added.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily said the country has lost a great son in the passing away of Inder Kumar Gujral.
" Mr Gujral's passing away is a great loss to the nation. Country has lost a great son, he has left a legacy of probity and integrity," he added.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain turned emotional on hearing of Gujral's demise.
"Gujral saab was so humble and charming. He would always come to my home as a father figure for Iftar. It is a great personal loss and a loss for the entire nation," he added.
Another BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman also echoed similar sentiments, and said that the opposition expresses its condolences and prays that God gives the family strength to bear the loss.
Gujral, 92, breathed his last at 3.27 p.m. at Gurgaon's Medanta Hospital after a multi-organ failure. He was admitted to the hospital on November 19 with a lung infection.
Born on December 4, 1919, Gujral served as the 12th Prime Minister of India from April 1997 to March 1998.
He was Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting during the chaotic days of 1975 and thereafter, he was appointed as Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union.
Gujral left the Congress Party in the mid-1980s and joined the Janata Dal.
In the 1989 elections, Gujral was elected from the Jalandhar parliamentary constituency in Punjab. He served as Minister of External Affairs in former Prime Minister V. P. Singh's cabinet. In 1989, Singh sent him to Srinagar to seal the deal with the kidnappers in the case of the 1989 kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed.
An important issue he had to deal with as External Affairs Minister was Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent events that led to the first Gulf War of January 1991.
He also served as Union Minister or Minister of State in several other portfolios--Communications and Parliamentary Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, Works and Housing and Planning.
He also participated in India's freedom struggle, and was jailed in 1942 during the 'Quit India Movement'.