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Srinagar, Aug 1 (UNI) Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today expressed deep shock and grief over the demise of veteran communist leader Harkrishan Singh Surjeet.

In a message here, Mr Azad described comrade Surjeet as a towering secular and nationalist leader with whom he had occasions to work very closely.

He said Mr Surjeet was very kind hearted, soft spoken and a nationalist and secular politician in whose death the communists have lost a great leader and the country a towering politician.

He recalled his years as General Secretary, AICC and said that he had an opportunity to discuss issues of national interest with Mr Surjeet for a number of occasions.

''I found him a warm, affectionate and kind hearted person who was a secular and nationalist at heart,'' he said.

Mr Azad conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.

UNI BAS ASM ATI RK1814

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