Modi, Sonia condole Barnala’s death

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday condoled the death of former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala, who died on Saturday following a brief spell of illness.

“Pained by demise of Shri Surjit Singh Barnala. His rich service & contribution to the nation will be remembered. Condolences to his family,” Modi said in a tweet.

Barnala, who ruled Punjab from 1985 to 1987, was admitted to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandhigarh recently where he breathed his last on Saturday.

“Barnala Saab was a freedom fighter, dedicated political leader, social helmsman, a good writer and a wonderful human being,” said Gandhi.

“He was instrumental in maitaining peace in Punjab, figting terrorism and played a decisive role in executing the Rajiv-Longowal accord,” she added, referring to the agreement signed in 1985 between her husband and then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Akali Dal leader Sant Harcharan Singh Longowal.