New Delhi, Dec 1: India on Friday, Nov 30 lost one of its most illustrious politician, former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral. Gujral died just four days before his 93rd birthday. Gujral died at 3.27 pm at a Gurgaon hospital due to lung infection.
Gujral, who was India's Prime Minister for 11 months in 1997-98, will be given a state funeral near Smriti Sthal on Saturday at 3 pm. Known as a gentleman politician, Gujral was loved and respected by one and all. Parliament was adjourned after Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde made the announcement. The government announced a seven-day state mourning.
PM Manmohan Singh said, "As Prime Minister, he set an example of grace under pressure, of composure in difficult circumstances and of steadfastness to principles."
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi hailed Gujral for his sagacity and deep understanding of national and international affairs.
As a PM, he had propounded the famous 'Gujral Doctrine' of five principles for maintaining good neighbourly relations that became the hallmark of his policy of friendly relations with countries in South Asia.
As an External Affairs Minister, he restored India-Bangladesh relations with the Ganga Waters agreement, rebuilt the structure of dialogue with Pakistan and initiated the negotiations on the historic India-Sri Lanka free trade agreement.
IK Gujral takes on as India's Prime Minister
In this file photo, IK Gujral is sworn-in as Prime Minister by the then President Shankar Dayal Sharma in New Delhi on Apr 21, 1997.
IK Gujral and Atal Bihari Vajpayee at a book releasing function
Former Prime Minister IK Gujral (left) with former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee (right) at a book release function in New Delhi in Sept 2004.
IK Gujral sharing some light moments with Sonia Gandhi
Former Prime Minister IK Gujral with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at a function in New Delhi on Aug 9, 2005.
Gujral impresses Clinton
IK Gujral, the then Prime Minister, at a meeting with the then US President Bill Clinton in New York in Sept 1997.
When two veteran politicians meet
Former Prime Minister IK Gujral with the then West Bengal CM Jyoti Basu at a meeting in Kolkata in Jul 1998.
Laughter is the best medicine for politicians too
Former Prime Minister IK Gujral with Chandrashekhar and the then Delhi Chief Minister Sushma Swaraj at a meeting in New Delhi in May 1998.
IK Gujral with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Former Prime Minister IK Gujral with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a function in Mumbai on Aug 10, 1997.
IK Gujral greets the nation from Red Fort
IK Gujral, the then Prime Minister, addresses the Nation from the historic Red Fort on the occasion of Independence Day in New Delhi on Aug 15, 1997.
Pope blesses Gujral
IK Gujral, the then Prime Minister, meets Pope John Paul II at Vatican in Sept 1997.
Gujral greeting Dalai Lama
IK Gujral, the then Prime Minister, greeting the Dalai Lama in New Delhi in Jun 1997.
Former Indian PMs at an interaction with the media
Former Prime Minister IK Gujral with other former Prime Ministers HD Deve Goda, VP Singh, PV Narsimha Rao and Chandra Shekhar at an interaction with the media in New Delhi in Aug 2003.