Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Buta Singh died at a Delhi hospital on Saturday, his family said. He was 86 years old.
“My father Shri Buta Singh ji passed away this morning,” his son Arvinder Singh Lovely Sidhu, said on Facebook. “Waheguru ji give him a place in your feet.”
Singh, who had served as the governor of Bihar, was in a coma from October after he suffered a brain haemorrhage, according to News18.
Tributes poured in for him. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, including other politicians, mourned his death.
“Shri Buta Singh Ji was an experienced administrator and effective voice for the welfare of the poor as well as downtrodden,” Modi tweeted. “Saddened by his passing away. My condolences to his family and supporters.”
“In the passing of Shri Buta Singh, the country has lost one of the longest serving parliamentarians with rich administrative experience,” Kovind tweeted. “He championed the cause of the oppressed and marginalized. Condolences to his family and supporters.”
Naidu expressed grief over Singh’s death. “Saddened to learn about the passing away of Shri Buta Singh Ji. He was an able administrator & parliamentarian. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family members. Om Shanti!” Naidu wrote on Twitter. “Shri Buta Singh Ji was an experienced administrator and effective voice for the welfare of the poor as well as downtrodden. Saddened by his passing away. My condolences to his family and supporters.”
Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee, Amarinder Singh and Ashok Gehlot also expressed their condolences after the senior Congress leader’s death.
Before joining the Congress, Singh was associated with the Shiromani Akali Dal. He was the convenor of the All India Congress Committee’s Harijan cell in 1973-74 and later became became the AICC general secretary in 1978.
Singh was the Union minister of civil supplies, consumer affairs and public distribution from 1995 to 1996 under the government of PV Narsimha Rao. He was appointed the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2007. He held that post till 2010. Singh is survived by a daughter and two sons.