Former PM Gujral passes away; PM, others mourn
New Delhi: Former prime minister IK Gujral, who headed a rickety coalition government in the late 1990s, died on Friday after a brief illness.
Gujral, 92, breathed his last at 3.31 PM in a private hospital.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid tribute to Gujral. The PM telephoned Naresh Gujral, the son of the former PM and a Rajya Sabha member from the Shiromani Akali Dal, to express condolences.
"Shri Gujral was a man of peace, an idealist who lived by his principles and an intellectual with the human touch," the PM said.
Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said: “Mr Gujral's passing away: a great loss to nation. Country has lost a great son. He has left a legacy of probity and integrity.”
The former prime minister, who was ventilator support, had been unwell for some time. He was on dialysis for over a year and suffered a serious chest infection some days ago.
He will be cremated in nearby Delhi on Saturday.
Gujral, who migrated from Pakistan after partition, rose to become the Prime Minister with a big slice of luck after he came up through the ranks - starting as vice president in NDMC in the '50s to later become a Union Minister and then India's Ambassador to the USSR.