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President, PM condole death of Congress leader and former Minister Jaffer Sharief

New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other political leaders expressed grief over the demise of former Union Minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief, who passed away at a private hospital in Bengaluru following a heart attack on Sunday.

He was 85.

“Sorry to hear of the passing of veteran political figure C.K. Jaffer Sharief, who served the nation in many capacities including as Railway Minister. My condolences to his family members and associates in Karnataka and elsewhere,” Kovind said.

Sharief passed away around 12.30 p.m. at Fortis Hospital where he was admitted on Friday after collapsing at home. He had been suffering from age-related ailments for some time.

Expressing condolence, the Prime Minister tweeted: “Saddened by the demise of Sharief ji. As a veteran Parliamentarian, he enriched parliamentary proceedings. He was an effective voice for Karnataka’s aspirations in Delhi. Condolences to his family and supporters.”

A veteran parliamentarian from Bengaluru North and Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha constituencies, Sharief was Union Railway Minister during 1991-1995 under the P.V. Narasimha Rao-led Congress government.

Calling Sharief’s death a day of tragedy for the Congress party, Rahul said: “My condolences to his family, friends and supporters in their time of grief.”

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “Condolences to the family and followers of former Minister Sharief on his passing away. As a Member of Parliament and as Railways Minister, he made his mark. He strove for a better Bengaluru and a prosperous Karnataka.”

Conveying his condolences to the bereaved family of the senior Congress party leader, Loktantrik Janata Dal chief Sharad Yadav said: “Such leaders are the need of the hour when the country is passing through a difficult time.”

Congress Leader C.P. Joshi said: “Deeply saddened by his passing away. May God give strength to his family and friends in this hour of deep sorrow.”

Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot, one of the chief ministerial aspirants in the state, said: “My condolences to his family, friends and well wishers in their time of grief.”

Former Karnataka Minister Ramalinga Reddy said: “Heartfelt condolences on the untimely demise of former Union Minister and senior congress leader Jaffer Sharief. My thoughts and prayers are with his family members and supporters.”

–IANS

rak/shs

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