Veteran Congress leader and first Finance Minister of Chhattisgarh Ramchandra Singhdeo died after prolonged illness at a private hospital in Raipur on Friday. He was 88.
Singhdeo had not been keeping well for quite some and recently admitted to the Ramkrishna Care Hospital here after his health condition deteriorated, state Congress spokesperson R P Singh told PTI.
While in the hospital, he suffered heart stroke twice following which he was kept on life support system. He took his last breath at around 1:30 am, he said.
His last rites will be performed on Saturday at his native place in Koriya district, Singh added.
Singhdeo, who belonged to the erstwhile Royal family of Koriya, had been active in politics since 1960s and was elected as MLA six times, R P Singh said.
He had served in various capacities in the undivided Madhya Pradesh. Singhdeo was appointed the first Finance Minister of Chhattisgarh after the state came into existence in November 2000 after bifurcation of Madhya Pradesh.
The Congress was in power when the new state came into existence. Since 2003, Chhattisgarh is being ruled by the BJP.
Chief Minister Raman Singh condoled the death of Singhdeo and said his life was characterised by simplicity and austerity.
The chief minister visited the residence of Singhdeo here and paid floral tributes. He met the family members of the departed leader and expressed his sympathies.
”Singhdeo served the nation and the society for five long decades. His death left a vacuum in state politics that can never be filled. His mission was to serve the masses,” the CM said in his condolence message.
The former Finance Minister’s services will be remembered by the citizens of the state for several years to come, Raman Singh said.
Despite hailing from a royal family, Singhdeo spent his entire life as a common man. He had been popular both in the ruling party and the opposition, the CM said.
Singhdeo was an expert on water resources and environmental issues. He was instrumental in building several irrigation projects in (undivided) Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh added.