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Senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Tota Singh passes away at 81

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CHANDIGARH: Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former Punjab minister Tota Singh (81) passed away at a private hospital in Mohali on Saturday after prolonged illness. Singh had served as the agriculture and education minister in the Akali government.

He was the senior vice-president and a member of the core committee of the SAD. He was also a member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Singh was elected as legislator for the first time from the Moga Assembly seat in 1997.

He was inducted as education minister in the Parkash Singh Badal-led government at that time. He was re-elected from Moga in the 2002 Assembly elections but he lost in 2007. Singh was elected from the Dharamkot Assembly seat in 2012 and became the agriculture minister.

However, Singh lost the assembly elections in 2017 and 2022. Singh's last rites will be held at his native place in Moga on May 24. In a tweet in Punjabi, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann expressed grief over Singh's demise.

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said Singh was a father figure to him. "Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of senior Akali leader Jathedar Tota Singh Ji. Jathedar sahab was a father figure to me & a source of inspiration for all of us. His invaluable advice & wise counsel will always be missed. I stand with Brar family in this hour of grief," Badal tweeted.

SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema said, "It is for the information of all concerned that cremation of Former Minister & Senior leader of SAD Jath Tota Singh ji who left for his heavenly abode today morning will be done on May 24 (Tuesday) at 11 AM in Moga."

Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring also condoled Singh's death. "My heartfelt condolences over the sad demise of veteran Akali leader, Jathedar Tota Singh Ji," Warring said in a tweet.

Former chief minister Amarinder Singh said, "My heartfelt condolences are with the family of former agriculture minister Jathedar Tota Singh ji who passed away today. I pray to Waheguru Ji to grant eternal peace to the departed soul and strength to the family to bear this loss."

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

37 Days ago