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Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh mourn death of Jaswant Singh

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Manmohan Singh Sunday mourned the demise of former Union minister Jaswant Singh, saying his passing away has left a void that cannot be filled.

Manmohan Singh described Jaswant Singh as an able administrator and an outstanding Parliamentarian and said the country has lost a great leader.

In a letter to Jaswant Singh”s son Manvendra, the former prime minister said, “I have learnt with profound sorrow about the sad demise of your beloved father Shri Jaswant Singh ji. Shri Jaswant Singh was an able administrator and an outstanding Parliamentarian. In his death our country has lost a great leader who always worked for the betterment of society.”

Sonia Gandhi in her condolence letter to Manvendra said she was saddened to learn of the passing away of his father.

“Jaswant Singh ji”s passing leaves a void in our national and public life that cannot be filled. I mourn the loss of a noble human being and a most dedicated and distinguished public servant,” she said.

“Shri Jaswant Singh was a man who lived his life with the utmost honour and integrity, whether as an army officer, a politician or a cabinet minister who held the most crucial portfolios of external affairs, defence and finance,” she said.

“In all these, he was driven by deep patriotism, love for his country and love and care for the people he served, and for the principles he believed in,” she said.

Gandhi mentioned how cruel and painful the last few years had been for Singh, who so valued his independence and enjoyed all the beauty that life has to offer from music and books and nature to close ties with family and friends.

“I feel he knew and sensed your close and loving care, throughout the years he was in a coma, and it gave him the courage to fight on for over six long years,” she said.

Jaswant Singh, one of the founding members of the BJP and a close associate of ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, died here on Sunday following a long spell of illness. He was 82.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers and other top leaders cutting across the political spectrum paid rich tributes to Singh.

Jaswant Singh, a former Army officer, had fallen at his home in August 2014 and was admitted to the Army Research and Referral Hospital. He was in a coma for a long spell and had been in and out of the hospital since then. He was admitted again in June this year.

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