Silchar/New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) Santosh Mhan Dev, a seven-time Congress MP and a former central minister, died early on Wednesday at a hospital in Silchar in Assam, his family said. He was 83.
Dev’s daughter and Lok Sabha member Sushmita Dev tweeted that her father passed away at 6.06 a.m. “Thank you everyone for your prayers, your love for him.”
President Ram Nath Kovind, former President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi and many other political leaders condoled Dev’s death.
Kovind said the death was “a loss for his family, for Assam and for India”.
Modi said: “Saddened… (Dev) was veteran political leader who worked extensively for welfare of people.”
Mukherjee called him a “long time friend and colleague”. Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed grief.
“In a political career spanning five decades, Dev held numerous crucial political assignments in the Congress and in the government, including that of a Union Cabinet Minister,” Gandhi said in a statement.
“His immense contribution to build the party in the northeast, right from the grassroots level, would always be remembered,” she said.
Dev held various positions in Congress governments in the Centre.
He was the Heavy Industry Minister in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-I government. He also served as Minister of State (MoS) for Communications in 1986-88 and as the Minister of State for Home from 1988 to 1989.
He was given independent charge of the Steel Ministry in the P.V. Narasimha Rao government in 1991.