President condoles death of Surjit Singh Barnala

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday condoled the death of former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala.

“The nation has lost a patriot and a public figure who made important contribution to the maintaining of the unity and integrity of our country as well as its comprehensive development,” Mukherjee said in statement.

“Barnala was a distinguished statesman, parliamentarian and able administrator who served the nation with great distinction in various capacities such as Chief Minister of Punjab and Governor of several statesm,” the statement said.

In his message to Barnala’s wife, Mukherjee said: “I am sad to learn about the passing away of your husband, Surjit Singh Barnala, a colleague and friend for long years.”

Barnala, who was the Chief MInister of Punjab from 1985 to 1987, was admitted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandhigarh recently. He passed away on Saturday.