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Congress Leader Ram Niwas Mirdha Dead

PTI 29 Jan 2010, 17:38:59 IST

Senior Congress leader Ram Niwas Mirdha, who had held key ministerial portfolios including external affairs and communication, died in Delhi on Friday following multiple organ failure.

87-year-old Mirdha, who was also former Speaker of Rajasthan Assembly, was admitted to a private hospital on January 21 after he was diagnosed with kidney infection.

"He passed away at around 12:45 pm following multiple organ failure," Dr D S Rana, Consultant, Department of Nephrology of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where Mirdha was admitted, said.

Mirdha is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. His eldest son had passed away on the same date last year.

The last rites would be performed in his paternal Kuchera village in Nagour district of Rajasthan on Saturday. 

The veteran Congress leader was Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha from March 1977 to April 1980 and as a union minister, he held several portfolios, including home, textile, irrigation and health and family welfare besides external affairs and communication.

He was elected to the Rajasthan assembly thrice and was the Speaker of the Assembly from 1957 to 1967. Earlier, as a minister in the state government, he had held various portfolios including agriculture, irrigation and transport.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had visited the hospital on Friday morning, while the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had gone there on Thursday night.

Mirdha was the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, which went into the multi-crore securities scam in the early nineties.

Besides holding various other posts, Mirdha was also the Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi and Honorary President of World Federation of UN Association. He had also joined state services but quit it in 1953. The senior Congress leader was the minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Transport in Rajasthan government in 1954.

During former Prime Minister Indra Gandhi's tenure, he was MoS Home, Personnel and Administrative reforms. PTI