Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Governor Surjit Singh Barnala on Saturday condoled the death of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, former Vice-President and Rajasthan Chief Minister.

Describing him as an able administrator, Mr. Barnala, in a message to Mr. Shekhawat's wife of the former vice-president, said Mr. Shekhawat, known for simplicity and affectionately called “Bhairon Baba,” had dedicated himself to the cause of the poor and downtrodden. His death was an irreparable loss to the nation in general and to Rajasthan in particular.

Karunanidhi condoles

In his condolence message, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said Mr. Shekhawat had served the country in a laudable manner during his stint as Vice-President of the country during 2002-07. Born in an agricultural family, Mr. Shekhawat earned the faith of the people of Rajasthan to serve as Chief Minister thrice and as an Opposition leader thereafter to discharge his democratic duties.

AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa said Mr. Shekhawat's death was an irreparable loss to the nation, especially to the people of Rajasthan. “In his passing away, India has lost an eminent national leader, a selfless social worker and above all, a true patriot.''