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Former Lok Sabha Speaker Baliram Bhagat passes away

Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani pays his last respects to the former Lok Sabha Speaker, Bali Ram Bhagat, who died in New Delhi early on Sunday, as Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar consoles family members of the deceased.  

Veteran Congress leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Bali Ram Bhagat died early this morning at a hospital in New Delhi.

He was 89.

Mr. Bhagat is survived by his wife Vidhya Bhagat, a son and a daughter.

He breathed his last at 2.30 AM at Apollo hospital where he was receiving treatment for kidney and lever ailments, an aide said.

A Parliamentarian with vast administrative experience, Mr. Bhagat was elected Speaker of the fifth Lok Sabha on January 5, 1976 when the country was under Emergency. He remained in the post for a year.

Born on 7 October, 1922 in Mahandi Ganj area of Patna city, he did his graduation from Patna College and later obtained a Masters Degree in Economics from Patna University.

He joined the Indian National Congress in 1939.

He was also the Governor of Himachal Pradesh briefly in 1993 and Governor of Rajasthan from 1993 to 1998.

In 1963, Bhagat became the Minister of State for Planning and held that post till January 1966. During 1963—1967, he was the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance.

He served as the Minister in the Ministry of Defence for a short while in 1967 before he became the Minister of State for External Affairs the same year.

He was elevated to the Cabinet rank in 1969 as the Minister of Foreign Trade and Supply. Later, he also served as the Minister of Steel and Heavy Engineering for a period of eight months.

For a short spell, he was the Minister of External Affairs in Rajiv Gandhi Government in 1985-86.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot were among leaders who expressed grief over Bhagat’s demise.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday expressed grief at the passing away of former Lok Sabha Speaker Baliram Bhagat at a hospital in New Delhi this morning.

“In his death we have lost an experienced politician and expert of legislative business”, Mr. Kumar said in a condolence message.

Several politicians including RJD President Lalu Prasad, state Congress chief Chowdhary Mahboob Ali Kaiser, former Speaker of the state assembly Sada Nand Singh besides state Congress spokesperson Prem Chandra Mishra also condoled his death.

Mr. Bhagat would be cremated with full state honours on the bank of river Ganga here tomorrow

Rajasthan Governor Shivraj Patil and the State Cabinet also expressed grief over the death of Mr. Bhagat.

At an emergency meeting chaired by Mr. Gehlot, the cabinet expressed deep condolence on the death of Bhagat and declared two days of state mourning, officials said.

Government offices would remain closed tomorrow as a mark of respect to Mr. Bhagat, they said.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 10:03:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Former-Lok-Sabha-Speaker-Baliram-Bhagat-passes-away/article15503979.ece

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