Veteran Congress leader Balram Jakhar passes away

World Wednesday 03/February/2016 17:54 PM
By: Times News Service
Veteran Congress leader Balram Jakhar passes away

New Delhi: Veteran Congress leader Balram Jakhar, a former Lok Sabha Speaker and Agriculture Minister at the Centre, died here on Wednesday after battling ailments for over the last six months.
Jakhar, 92, was suffering from brain haemorrhage last year after which he suffered from multiple ailments. His health deteriorated last week and he passed away on Wednesday morning.
Jakhar lived with his son Sunil Jakhar, a former leader of opposition in Punjab, in a rented accommodation in Defence Colony, where he breathed his last at around 7am.
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul visited his residence to pay their last respects.
The body of Jakhar is being taken to his native village Panjkosi near Abohar in Punjab where he will be cremated on Thursday morning, his family sources said.
Senior party leaders are likely to attend his last rites, Congress sources said.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi expressed their condolences over the demise of Jakhar, and hailed him as a "popular" leader, appreciating his contributions and pursuit of excellence in public life.
A champion of farmers' causes, Jakhar was Agriculture Minister in the P. V. Narsimha Rao government and a Lok Sabha MP for four terms.
He also served as Governor of Madhya Pradesh between 2004 and 2009.
Jakhar has the rare honour of having been elected unanimously twice to the office of Speaker, first in the seventh Lok Sabha in 1980 and then again in the eighth Lok Sabha in 1985.
He had also earned the rare distinction of being the only Speaker of Lok Sabha in independent India to have presided over two successive Lok Sabhas for their full terms from 22nd January 1980 to 18th December 1989.