GUWAHATI: Former Central minister Santosh Mohan Dev died at his home town in southern Assam’s Silchar on Wednesday morning.
The 83-year-old Congress veteran died of natural causes at a hospital.
The seven-time Congress MP is survived by his wife and four daughters, including Sushmita Dev who represents the Silchar seat in Lok Sabha.
“Nothing could have prepared me for this moment. I lost him at 6.06 am today (Wednesday). Thank you everyone for your prayers, your love for him,” Sushmita tweeted.
A towering Congress leader, Dev was the minister for heavy industries in UPA-I government headed by Manmohan Singh. First elected to the Parliament in 1980, Dev has the rare distinction of being elected from two states – Assam and Tripura. He represented Silchar five times and Tripura twice.
Dev also served as union minister of state for communications during 1986-1988 and the minister of state for home from 1988-1989. He also held the position of union minister of state for steel (independent charge) in the P V Narasimha Rao government in 1991.
A key member of the Congress, he also represented India in the Population Conference held in China in 1982 and was a member of the Indian Parliamentary Delegation to Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference at Isle of Man in 1984.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned the death. “(I am) saddened by the passing away of Santosh Mohan Dev. He was veteran political leader who worked extensively for welfare of people,” the PM said.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi also expressed grief. Gandhi said in a statement, “In a political career spanning five decades, Dev held numerous crucial political assignments in the Congress party and in the government, including that of a Union Cabinet Minister.”
Congress leaders in the state also mourned the demise.