Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Speakers from various political parties paid tributes to former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar at a condolence meeting organised by the State unit of the Janata Party (Rashtriya) here on Monday.

Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha described Chandra Shekhar as a man of courage and conviction. But for his decision to pledge gold to bail the country out from a bad balance of payments situation, the country could not have progressed. He was instrumental in containing insurgency in Punjab and he would have resolved issues such as Ram Janma Bhoomi and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir if he had been Prime Minister for some more months.

His adversaries, who could not digest his success, saw to it that he was removed from the post at the earliest. In his death, the country had lost a great soul and statesman, he said.

Cho Ramaswamy, editor, Thuglaq, said Chandra Shekhar’s weakness was that he did not publicise his achievements. He was bold enough to criticise former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for imposing the emergency even when he was a member of the Congress. Though he was blamed for pledging the country’s gold, he did so to save the country’s honour and pride.

He dismissed the then DMK government in Tamil Nadu despite the then Governor’s opposition, as he was firm that there was a close link between the State Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. He was one of the few leaders who lived for the country, he added.