Congress MP from Punjab’s Jalandhar Santokh Singh Chaudhary died of heart attack on Saturday while participating in the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, reported PTI.

The 76-year-old politician was participating in the march along with Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders in Phillaur town when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Chaudhary was taken to a hospital in Phagwara where he was declared dead.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra has been suspended for 24 hours as a mark of respect for Chaudhary, Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh said. The march will resume from Jalandhar on Sunday afternoon.

“Shocked by the sudden demise of Shri Santokh Singh Chowdhary,” Gandhi tweeted. “He was a down to earth hardworking leader, a pious person and a strong pillar of the Congress family, who dedicated his life to public service from Youth Congress to Member of Parliament.”

Gandhi also visited Chaudhary’s family in Jalandhar to pay his last respects.

Political leaders from across party lines expressed grief at Chaudhary’s deaths and offered condolences to his family.

“Pained by the passing away of MP Shri Santokh Singh Chaudhary Ji,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. “He will be remembered for his efforts to serve the people of Punjab. Condolences to his family and supporters.”

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said he was deeply saddened by the demise of Chaudhary.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri wrote on Twitter: “Shocked and deeply saddened at the untimely demise of my friend, former Punjab minister and Jalandhar MP Shri Chaudhary Santokh Singh Ji.”

Chaudhary had won the Lok Sabha elections from Jalandhar constituency in 2014 and 2019. His son, Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary is currently an MLA from Phillaur Assembly constituency.