Late on Saturday evening, former governor of Uttarakhand, Surjit Singh Barnala, breathed his last, in Chandigarh, in the presence of his loved ones. The 91-year-old veteran politician, was the first governor of Uttarakhand, between 2000 to 2003.
The former chief minister of Punjab, Barnala passed away at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, in Chandigarh.
He had been admitted in the Cardiac Care Unit, at the PIMER, on Thursday, and was later moved to the respiratory ICU, on Saturday, where he then left for his heavenly abode.
Although he held the governor’s post in Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, as well as Andaman and Nicobar Island, Barnala played his mot prominent political role as the chief minister of Punjab, from 1985 to 1987, while the militancy was at its peak within the state.
He became politically active in the 1960s, after having practise law for a few years, prior to entering politics. He also actively participated in the Quite India movement in 1942.
Apart from holding the posts of governor and chief minister, Barnala was also the union minister for consumer affairs, power, chemical and fertilisers and rural development in the Morarji Desai Cabinet, in 1979. It was also during this period that he signed the historic Ganga Waters Agreement.
Barnala, during his lost political career, had also been nominated for the post of the Vice-President of India, in 1997, but lost to Krishna Kant.
Upon the news of his demise, several prominent political leaders like PM Modi, Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, and Punjab Congress Chief Amarinder Singh expressed their deepest condolences to the late political veteran and his family.