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Obituary references

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The State Assembly on Tuesday paid tributes to as many as eighteen late political leaders of the country including former Prime Minister IK Gujral, former Union Minister KC Pant and Chokpot legislator Masonsing M Sangma.

Participating in the customary obituary references on the first day of the Assembly session on Tuesday, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma recalled the contribution of the late leaders to their respective states and the nation.

Paying rich tributes to late Gujral, the Chief Minister remembered the late Prime Minister as a leader with a great vision.

Speaking about Masonsing, Dr Sangma said that the State has lost a great leader who had served the State in various capacities including as a Minister.

Dr Sangma also conveyed his condolence to the bereaved families and prayed that the souls of the departed leaders would rest in peace.

Speaker Charles Pyngrope also paid glowing tributes to all the late leaders and led the members of the House in observing a two-minute silence as a mark of respect for the departed leaders.

Leader of the Opposition, Conrad Sangma, recalled the long association of Masonsing with his father Purno A Sangma.

“Both (Masonsing and Purno) started their political career by holding important positions in the Youth Congress,” Conrad said.

“His demise is a great loss not only to our party but to the State as a whole,” Conrad said.

Former Chief Minister DD Lapang termed Gujral as a person with a distinguished personality who had served the country in various capacities including as Ambassador to Moscow and as Union Foreign Affairs Minister.

Lapang also paid tributes to the late Chokpot legislator for his outstanding contribution towards the people of his constituency and the State as a whole.

Deputy Chief Minister Bindo M Lanong recalled that former Union Minister and former Planning Commission Deputy Chairman KC Pant had taken keen interest during the Hill State Movement for Meghalaya.

“Many people of our generations would recall his frequent visits here when the Hill State Movement was at its peak,” Lanong said.

Paying rich tributes to the late former Prime Minister, Mawprem legislator Manas Chaudhuri said the diplomatic skills of Gujral was of a very high standard and this can be proved by his handling of the situation as Ambassador to Moscow during the Cold War.

“The former late Prime Minister managed to strike a balance to ensure that the diplomatic relations of India with other nations were not affected during the peak of the Cold War,” Chaudhuri said while adding that the other distinguished contribution of Gujral was his ‘Doctrine of Pakistan’.

“It was Gujral who started the soft diplomatic relations with Pakistan. If one day India and Pakistan shed all their differences, people would always remember Gujral for initiating the peace process between the two neighbours,” Chaudhuri added.

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