JAMMU: Senior National Conference leader and former legislator Thakur Rachpal Singh died of COVID-19 at a hospital in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district on Monday, officials said.
The 69-year-old Singh is survived by wife, son and two daughters, a party leader said.
Singh, a resident of Sialsui village of Kalakote in Rajouri district, was admitted to the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality hospital at Kakriyal in Reasi on September 5 after testing positive for the infection, the officials said.
An official at the hospital said the National Conference leader was suffering from fever, cough and also complained of breathlessness.
Early this morning I lost my senior colleague & former MLA of Kalakote iRajouri) Kr Rachhpal Singh to COVID-19. Only yesterday I spoke to him to wish him well. He was on oxygen support but in good spirits. Less than 24 hours later he is no more. My prayers are with his family.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) September 7, 2020
He breathed his last after suffering a massive heart attack in the early hours of Monday, he said. The officials said the cremation will be held later in the day as per COVID-19 protocol and no gathering would be allowed at the cremation ground.
Singh had won assembly elections twice on National Conference ticket from his home constituency Kalakote in 2002 and 2008 but lost the election to his BJP rival Abdul Ghani Kohli in the 2014 assembly polls.
In a tweet, National Conference leader former chief minister Omar Abdullah said, Early this morning I lost my senior colleague and former MLA of Kalakote Rajouri Rachpal Singh to COVID-19. Only yesterday I spoke to him to wish him well. He was on oxygen support but in good spirits. Less than 24 hours later he is no more. My prayers are with his family".
J-K BJP president Ravinder Raina said he was saddened to hear the news about the death of Singh and noted that he was a courageous leader who served the people with utmost sincerity.
Chief spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC), Ravinder Sharma, said the party held a condolence meeting and paid rich tributes to the prominent political figure and recalled his contribution to the society as a whole.
Earlier on August 27, senior Congress leader and former Member of Legislative Council (MLC) Chuni Lal (87) died of the virus in Kathua district.
Meanwhile, a 35-year-old physically challenged man, who was suffering from various ailments, died of COVID-19 at the Government Medical College hospital here on Sunday night, the officials said, adding he was brought to the hospital last week from Samba district.
With the two fresh fatalities, the death toll in Jammu has reached 100 with 64 deaths reported in Jammu district, the officials said, adding the COVID-19 related deaths in Jammu and Kashmir had climbed to 786.
Jammu and Kashmir had so far accounted for the total virus caseload of 43557. While 32327 people have recovered, 10446 are still undergoing treatment.