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Hyderabad, Aug 1 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Governor N D Tiwari, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, APCC president D Srinivas today expressed grief over the demise of veteran CPI(M) leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet.

In a condolence message the Governor said, ''I am deeply grieved at the passing away of Surjeet. He was a master strategist and a popular secular leader. He was humanitarian in approach and a leader of the masses.'' While paying glowing tributes to the veteran communist leader, Dr Reddy recalled the long and dedicated service of Surjeet, who served as a member of the CPI(M) Polit bureau for 44 years from 1964 to 2008 and as the CPI(M) General Secretary from 1992 to 2005.

Dr Reddy said the Marxist leader had the distinction of working with top leaders like late E M S Namboodiripad, A K Gopalan and others.

Surjeet also worked for unity and coalition among the Left Parties, he added.

He said Surjeet was also instrumental for the Left to support the UPA Government. With his passing away the nation lost one of the steadfast communist leaders, who worked for the upliftment of the poor and the working class.

Mr Srinivas in a condolence message, recalled the crucial role played by Surjeet in the contemporary Indian politics, enabling the support of the Left to the present UPA government.

Lok Satta Party president Jayaprakash Narayan said in a statement that Surjeet exemplified the capacity to adopt flexible politics without forsaking principles.

''A policy of give and take is essential to preserve unity, sustain growth and promote equality in a country like India with diverse groups of conflicting interests,'' he said, adding, Surjeet excelled in harmonising conflicting interests.

They also expressed grief for the loss of several lives in the midnight fire accident in Gouthami Express at Warangal district last night.

The Governor in a message he said, ''It is very painly to learn about the fire accident that occurded in Gautami express causing loss of life in the early hours of today.'' ''I convey my heartfelt condlences to the members of the breaved families and pray for the early recover of those injured.

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