Former Union minister and veteran Congress leader Rajinder Kumar Dhawan passed away at B L Kapur hospital in the national capital around 7 pm on Monday. He was 81.
The former Rajya Sabha MP, who was a close aide of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday for age-related ailments.
Expressing its condolences to the family of the senior leader, the Congress tweeted, “We’re saddened to hear about the passing away of RK Dhawan, a valued member of the Congress party. Our thought and prayers are with his family tonight.”
Dhawan started out as Gandhi’s personal assistant and was with her from 1962, until the day she was assassinated in 1984. The senior Congress leader was also a part of the former PM’s innermost circle during the Emergency years (1975-77). Along with Ambika Soni and Kamal Nath, Dhawan was among the key characters of that period.
Several political leaders and ministers took to Twitter to pay their tributes to the veteran leader:
Former President Pranab Mukherjee expressed shock at the veteran leader’s demise. He tweeted, “Deeply shocked at passing away of Shri RK Dhawan. Though he was ailing I had never expected that the end will come so soon. A close associate and colleague in Party and Government, he will forever be fondly remembered.”
Congress’ communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said, “Our homage to veteran Congress l...