New Delhi, August 1 : Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari has condoled the sad demise of veteran Communist Party of Party-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet.
"I am deeply grieved to learn about the sad demise of Harkishan Singh Surjeet, veteran CPI (M) leader," said the vice President.
Ansari said: "He always championed the cause of the farmers, poor and the downtrodden and earned the admiration of the people for his dedication and sense of public service," and he further added, "In his death, the country has lost an eminent personality who was always sensitive to the social concerns of our times."
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh condoled the passing away of the veteran communist leader in the following words, "Surjeet Saheb was a great political leader, a true patriot, a man committed to the welfare of the downtrodden, a great Indian and above all a dear friend."
"I greatly valued his friendship and his guidance. He was one of the architects of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)," the Prime Minister added.
Dr. Singh further said, "Harkishan Singh Surjeet dedicated his entire life to the communist movement in India. Under his leadership the communist movement came into the national mainstream and contributed to giving a progressive orientation to our social and economic policies."
Union Minister of Railways, Lalu Prasad Yadav said " Harkishan Singh Surjeet devoted his life to the cause of the poor and the downtrodden and earned the admiration of the people for his dedication. He was instrumental in forming the UPA coalition government at the centre. In his death, the country has lost an eminent personality who always fought for social causes."
Defence Minister A.K. Antony also offered his condolences to the veteran CPM leader, "The benchmarks set by Harkishan Singh Surjeet through his conduct, sacrifices, spartan life style and writings will inspire generations of politicians and the youth who want to enter public life."
"He was a grassroots political leader and played a pioneering role in empowering the peasants in Punjab. As a leader of the Communist Party of India and later the Communist Party of India (Marxist), he played a vital role in defining and shaping their role in the politics of the country for nearly seven decades," Antony said.
He further added, "His pivotal role in the formation of the United Progressive Alliance will be remembered for long."
Surjeet passed away here today. He was convalescing at the Metro Hospital in Noida since July 25 and breathed his last at 1.35 P.M today.