Former Punjab CM Surjit Singh Barnala passes away

Former Punjab Chief Minister, Union Minister and Governor of Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh Surjit Singh Barnala died here on Saturday following a brief spell of illness. He was 91.

Barnala, who ruled Punjab from 1985 to 1987, was admitted to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) recently where he breathed his last on Saturday.

Governor of Tamil Nadu (1990-91 and 2004-2011) and Andhra Pradesh (2003-2004), he was the first governor of the then newly-created state of Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand) from November 2000 to January 2003.

He also held additional charge of Governor in Orissa (now Odisha). He was also Lt governor of Andaman and Nicobar and Pondicherry (now Pudducherry).

Union Agriculture Minister in the Janata Party government of Morarji Desai (1977-1979), he held the portfolio of Chemicals and Fertilizers in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998.

Born on Oct 21, 1925 in Ateli village (now in Mahendergarh district of Haryana), Barnala did his graduation in law from Lucknow before entering politics.

He remained member of the Punjab assembly and Lok Sabha.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal condoled the death of Barnala and recalled the services rendered by him as Tamil Nadu Governor, Punjab Chief Minister and Union Minister.

Badal said that the former Chief Minister was an able administrator and a fine human being with qualities of head and heart.