Punjab assembly pays tributes to former PM Chandra Shekhar

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Chandigarh, Dec 17 (UNI) The Punjab assembly today paid rich tributes to former prime minister Chandra Shekhar, former Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma and the victims of the December 14 tragedy in which 16 persons including seven school children died after their bus rammed into a train in Moga district.

Moving a condolence motion on the opening day of the winter session of the state Vidhan Sabha here, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal described Mr Chandra Shekhar as a man of principles who had a long and distinguished career in politics. Recalling Mr Chandra Shekhar's tenure as Prime Minister, Mr Badal said that he always stood by the poor and downtrodden.

The Chief Minister also recalled Mr Chandra Shekhar's role in opposing the Emergence day and said that he had a high regard for democratic values. The former prime minister was amongst the first to criticise 'Operation Bluestar' and condemn the 1984 anti Sikh riots.

The void created by Mr Chandra Shekhar in national politics would be difficult to fulfill, the Chief Minister added.

Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia and Leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal also paid rich tributes to the former prime minister.

The House also paid rich tributes to former Delhi chief minister and former union minister Sahib Singh Verma. Mr Badal recalled his long association with Mr Verma and said that he was a man of values and an able administrator.

Refering to Mr Verma's brief stint as BJP's general secretary, incharge of the party's Punjab affairs, Mr Badal said that the former Delhi chief minister gave him a lot of useful tips. He also recalled Mr Verma's contributions towards the rehablitation of victims of the Gujarat earthquake.

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