By Asit Manohar
Former Union Minister and senior Congress party leader Santosh Mohan Dev passed away of Pneumonia in Silchar, Assam on Wednesday morning. The former Union Minister for Heavy Industries was suffering from kidney and other ailments. Dev, 83, is survived by his wife, former legislator Bithika Dev, and four daughters, including Congress MP Sushmita Dev.
His daughter Sushmita Dev informed about the death of Congress veteran on twitter, “Nothing could have prepared me for this moment. I lost him at 6.06am today. Thank you everyone for your prayers, your love for him.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too expressed his grief on the death of Santosh Mohan Dev citing, “Saddened by the passing away of Shri Santosh Mohan Dev. He was veteran political leader who worked extensively for welfare of people. My thoughts are with the family and supporters of Shri Santosh Mohan Dev in this hour of grief.”
Former President Pranab Mukherjee — a close friend of Santosh Mohan Dev — said he was ‘deeply saddened’ by the death of Dev. “Deeply saddened at the passing away of long time friend and colleague,Shri Santosh Mohan Dev. My condolences to the family,” he said.
INC India, from its official Twitter handle expressed its grief over the demise of veteran Congressman tweeting, “We condole the demise of Shri Santosh Mohan Dev. A leader of great stature, he will be remembered for his contribution to the people. Our heartfelt condolences to @sushmitadevmp and family during this hard time.”
All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary CP Joshi took too expressed condolence on Twitter citing, “My deepest condolences to @sushmitadevmp at the passing away of her Father North East Congress Leader S M Dev. May his soul rest in peace.”
Dev, a seven-time Congress MP, was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980. He represented Silchar five times and Tripura twice. He was appointed the Heavy Industry Minister in the Manmohar Singh-led UPA-I government. He also served as minister of state for communications from 1986-1988 and MoS for home between 1988-1989. Dev was given independent charge of of the steel ministry under the PV Narasimha Rao government in 1991.
His last rites will take place on tomorrow in Silchar. The funeral procession would begin from his Silchar residence at morning 8:30 while the final rites will be done at 2 noon.