M A I N   N E W S

Ex-Prime Minister IK Gujral dies at 92
State funeral today
Govt declares 7-day national mourning
Prez, PM, top leaders express grief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi/ Gurgaon, Nov 30
Former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, who headed a Congress-supported coalition government in 1997-98, died at a hospital in Gurgaon this afternoon following a brief illness. He was 92.

Gujral was hospitalised on November 19 after a lung infection. He had been put on ventilator as his condition had deteriorated. He had been on dialysis for a year.

Gujral is survived by his sons, Naresh, an Akali Dal MP in Rajya Sabha, and Vishal, two grand-daughters and a grandson. His brother is noted artist Satish Gujral and he has three sisters. His wife Shiela had died last year.

Gujral’s body was taken from hospital to his official residence, 5 Janpath, where it will be kept for the public to pay their respects till noon. The Government has declared a seven-day state mourning throughout India and cancelled all functions till December 6.

He will be given a state funeral near Smriti Sthal in New Delhi at 3 pm. The ceremony will be conducted by the Ministry of Defence. Central Government offices in Delhi and Delhi Government offices will close at 1.30 pm to enable employees to attend the funeral of the late former PM.

Gujral was born to Avtar Narain and Pushpa Gujral at Jhelum in undivided Punjab on December 4, 1919. He belonged to a family of freedom fighters and participated in the freedom struggle. Educated at DAV College, Hailey College of Commerce and Forman Christian College, Lahore (Pakistan), Gujral was sworn in as the 12th Prime Minister of India on April 21, 1997.

Known for his Left-leaning yet liberal ways, Gujral was very close to Indira Gandhi at one point of time. He became a member of the Rajya Sabha in April 1964 and was part of the “powerful coterie” around Indira that helped her become Prime Minister in 1966 following Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death.

He became the Information and Broadcasting Minister in 1975 during the time of permit-quota raj when the I&B Minister could virtually control the supply of newsprint. Television, other than Doordarshan, was non-existent. Gujral was tasked to manage the much-criticised job of press censorship during Emergency.

Before becoming PM, Gujral was External Affairs and Water Resources Minister. He also served as India’s Ambassador to the USSR. He was a Rajya Sabha member twice between 1964 and 1976 and a member of the Lok Sabha from 1989 to 1991. With Lalu Prasad’s help, he became a member of Rajya Sabha in 1992 after his election from Patna Lok Sabha constituency was countermanded.

He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998 from Jalandhar as an Independent with Akali Dal’s help. The equation between the Gujral family and Akalis changed forever. PS Badal was so happy at the militancy-period loan waiver given by Gujral as PM that it blossomed into a personal friendship.

During his tenure as PM, Gujral recommended President’s Rule in UP in 1997, which the then President KR Narayanan refused to sign. He propounded the “Gujral Doctrine” of five principles for maintaining good relations with the neighbouring countries. That became the hallmark of his policy with countries in South Asia, especially Pakistan.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |