Muktsar (Punjab): Former Chief Minister of
Punjab and former Governor of Haryana and Orissa Harcharan
Singh Brar, died in his native village Sarai Naga in the
district today at the age of 87 following prolonged illness.
Brar, who was a senior Congress leader, is survived by
his widow Gurbinder Kaur Brar, a son Kanwarjit Singh Brar,
who is an MLA from Muktsar and a daughter Kanwaljit Kaur
alias Bubli Brar, his family said.
Punjab Government has declared a three day state
mourning while the Haryana Government has declared two day
mourning as a mark of respect to Brar.
During the mourning period the national flag would be
flown at half mast throughout the two states and there will
be no official entertainment during the period, official
spokesmen of the two states said.
Punjab Government has also declared a holiday in all
government offices, boards, corporations and educational
Brar, who remained Governor of Haryana from September
24, 1977 to December 9, 1979 and that of Orissa for around
six months in 1976, will be cremated in his native village
Sarai Naga tomorrow afternoon.
He had taken over as Chief Minister of Punjab on
August 31, 1995 after the assassination of the then Chief
Minister Beant Singh in a bomb blast outside the Punjab and
Haryana Secretariat in Chandigarh.
He remained Chief Minister till November 21, 1996 and
was also credited with the creation of Muktsar and Moga
districts out of Faridkot district.
Haryana Governor Jagan Nath Pahadia and Chief Ministers
of Punjab and Haryana Parkash Singh Badal and Bhupinder Singh
Hooda, Punjab Congress President Mohinder Singh Kaypee were
among those who have condoled the death of Brar.
Badal described Brar as a true statesman and a matured
politician. "In the death of Brar the state has lost a
balanced and experienced leader, who stood for politics of
consensus and held the Opposition in high esteem, always
opting for the path of conciliation rather than
confrontation," he added
Pahadia and Hooda described Brar as a seasoned and
visionary leader who had served the people in many capacities,
an official statement of the Haryana Government said.
Describing Brar as a broad minded and kind hearted person
and a great social worker, they said that he did a yeoman
service to the mankind by saving and sheltering many innocent
Muslims and running free Langer for displaced persons who came
to India from Pakistan during the upheaval of 1947.
Born on January 21, 1922 in village Sarai Naga to Balwant
Singh, Brar graduated from Government College at Lahore and
was elected MLA from Muktsar in 1960.
He was elected MLA four times from different places
including Muktsar in 1962, Giderabaha in 1967, Kotkapura in
1969 and from Muktsar in 1992.
An agriculturist by profession, he remained Governor
of Orissa and Haryana, Chief Minister of Punjab and Cabinet
Minister in Punjab on several occasions.
He widely travelled to Australia, Singapore, Europe,
England, Egypt, and few Middle East countries and was a keen
sportsmen and evinced interest in Cricket, Hockey, Tennis,
Riding and Golf.