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Senior Congress leader Indira Hridayesh passes away; PM, Sonia Gandhi condole death

·3-min read

Dehradun/New Delhi, Jun 13 (PTI) Leader of Opposition in the Uttarakhand Assembly Indira Hridayesh passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest in New Delhi on Sunday.

The 80-year-old senior Congress died at the Uttarakhand Sadan in New Delhi where she had gone to attend a party meeting, Uttarakhand Congress vice president Suryakant Dhasmana said quoting her son Sumit Hridayesh.

Hridayesh was a Congress MLA from Haldwani and one of the senior-most Congress leaders from the state.

She had tested positive for COVID-19 in April this year and had undergone a heart surgery after her recovery.

Hridayesh had attended a party meeting chaired by party in-charge for Uttarakhand Devendra Yadav in New Delhi on Saturday.

Hridayesh's officer on special duty Abhinav Mishra said her last rites will be held in her hometown Haldwani on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi condoled her demise and lauded her contributions.

'Dr. Indira Hridayesh Ji was at the forefront of several community service efforts. She made a mark as an effective legislator and also had rich administrative experience. Saddened by her demise. Condolences to her family and supporters. Om Shanti,' the prime minister said in a tweet.

Indira Hridayesh leaves behind a legacy of public service as an MLA, MLC, minister and leader of Opposition in Uttarakhand, the Congress chief said, adding that 'above all, she was a dedicated lifelong Congressperson'.

'She was particularly popular amongst her colleagues for her knowledge of legislative processes and procedure as also her performance as an able administrator. Her contribution to the Congress party will be treasured and cherished by all,' Sonia Gandhi said.

In a tweet in Hindi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, 'Received the sad news about the demise of Dr Indira Hridayesh, a strong link of the Congress party in Uttarakhand. She worked till the end for public service and the Congress family. Her social and political contributions are an inspiration. Condolences to her loves ones'.

Congress general secretary and former state chief minister Harish Rawat said it is an irreparable loss for the country and the state.

Besides Harish Rawat, Uttarakhand Congress president Pritam Singh and Rajya Sabha MP Pradeep Tamta were among the senior Congress leaders who visited the Uttarakhand Sadan here to pay their tributes to the departed leader.

'We had discussed together the party's strategy for the coming assembly polls only yesterday. Who knew she would set out on a journey into the unknown just a day later leaving us teary-eyed,' Harish Rawat said.

He said she was a part of the Congress family for over four decades, first in Uttar Pradesh and then in Uttarakhand and was the voice of teachers.

Condoling her demise, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the Congress has lost a brave leader and popular public representative.

Affectionately called 'didi' in the political circles of Uttarakhand, her death came as a shock to most people including her political adversaries.

Expressing grief at her death, Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said she played a significant role in the politics of both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand for four decades.

Describing her death as a big loss for the state, he remembered her for her profound knowledge of parliamentary procedures.

The chief minister said it was also a personal loss for him as he always got the love and affection of an elder sister from her.

State government's spokesman and cabinet minister Subodh Uniyal said he and other politicians of his generation had learnt a lot from Hridayesh who could rise above the confines of party-based politics.

'Her knowledge of parliamentary procedures was amazing. We learnt a lot from her,' Uniyal said .

Senior Congress leader Dhirendra Pratap, who is also a vice president in the party's state unit, described her as the 'iron lady' of Uttarakhand.

Hridayesh was the finance minister of Uttarakhand from 2012 to 2017 and also held the portfolios of parliamentary affairs and higher education and planning in the Congress government led by Harish Rawat. PTI ALM SKC ANB ANB

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