Former prime minister IK Gujral passes away

Former prime minister Inder Kumar GujralFormer prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral passed away on Friday, after a prolonged illness. Gujral, 92, breathed his last at the Medicity Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon after a multi-organ failure.

Gujral, who was on dialysis for over a year, was admitted to the hospital on 19 November with a lung infection and was on ventilator.

The end came at 3.31 pm at the Gurgaon hospital today, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde announced in the Lok Sabha.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid tribute to Gujral. The PM also telephoned Naresh Gujral, son of the former PM and a Rajya Sabha member from the Shiromani Akali Dal, to express condolences.

''In his passing, the country has lost an intellectual, a scholar-statesman and a gentleman politician whose liberal and humanist vision was rooted in the teachings of the leaders of our freedom movement,'' Manmohan Singh said in a condolence message.

''I personally have lost a friend of long standing, whose wisdom, idealism and deep concern for social equity left a great impression on me and whose counsel and opinion I often sought and valued greatly,'' he added.