Harvansh Singh, a senior Congressman and Deputy Speaker of the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha passed away at approximately 3 a.m. today in Seoni, more than 250km from here.

Mr. Singh (63) suffered a heart attack at 1 a.m. on Tuesday in his ancestoral village of Barra. He was rushed to the district hospital, 60 km away, where he died at 3 a.m.

Mr. Singh started his political career as a Youth Congress activist in the sixties. He rose to become the State president of the Congress Seva Dal and the chairperson of the State Handloom Corporation in 1986. In 1993, he debuted in the Vidhan Sabha of undivided Madhya Pradesh (includes Chhattisgarh) as an MLA from Keolari in Seoni district. He went on to enter the Cabinet and held key portfolios such as home affairs, public health, transport and forests.

He is survived by his wife Pawan and three children.

His death has reduced the effective strength of the 230-member assembly to 228. The Neemuch seat fell vacant Khuman Singh Shivaji expired in February. In 2010, Leader of the Opposition and tribal activist Jamuna Devi had died of cancer. Her constituency of Kukshi in Dhar district was won by BJP's Mukam Singh in a bypoll the following year.