President condoles Arjun Singh`s death

President Pratibha Patil on Friday condoled the death of veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh and said in his demise the country has lost a "towering personality".

Updated: Mar 04, 2011, 23:13 PM IST

New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil on Friday
condoled the death of veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh and
said in his demise the country has lost a "towering
personality".

In her condolence message, Patil said Singh was a
veteran public personality and the important responsibilities
given to him during his long career showed the acumen and
ability he possessed.
"He was therefore the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
for three times and also the Governor of Punjab during a
period when the state was going through difficult times," she
said.

His contribution to Parliamentary debates were
recognised through his being honoured with an outstanding
Parliamentarian award in 2000. In his passing away, the nation
as well as the state of Madhya Pradesh has lost a towering
personality, she said.

Singh (81), who was admitted to AIIMS some days ago
with chest pain and neuro problems, passed away this evening.

In her message, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said
the "nation has lost a great leader who worked tirelessly for
the underprivileged section of the society".

"Arjun Singh held various important portfolios during
his long political career was deeply committed to the welfare
of the marginalised sections of the society," she said.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit described Singh as
a leader who was committed to secular ideology.
"With his passing away the organisation has lost an
experienced leader. He will always be remembered for his
contribution at various levels," said Dikshit.

Condoling Singh`s death, JD-U president Sharad Yadav
said the former Union Minister was a "statesman" who
championed the cause of the poor.

Yadav, who hails from Madhya Pradesh, said that Singh
made "unforgettable contributions" to development of the state
as its Chief Minister and later played a key role in tackling
of insurgency in Punjab as its Governor.

"As Union HRD minister, Singh made serious efforts to
increase the participation of the poor in education and the
underprivileged considered him their friend," Yadav said.

The NDA convenor said the late leader had a major
contribution in shaping his political future and termed his
relations with Singh as "very personal".

PTI