With the death of veteran congress leader and former minister, Sat Mahajan, 85, who passed away on Saturday morning due to cardiac arrest in New Delhi, an era of Himachal politics has come to an end .
Mahajan had undergone angioplasty surgery at Escorts hospital on August 22. He was discharged from the hospital only a few days ago and was staying with his daughter. Mahajan had, earlier, also suffered from kidney ailments.
His body would be brought to Nurpur for final rites that will be held on Sunday. Survived by a son and a daughter, Mahajan had lost his wife three years back.
Known as the Congress's "Field Marshal" in Kangra, Mahajan had served as the cabinet minister in the government headed by Thakur Ram Lal and Virbhadra Singh.
Born on July 27, 1927 at Nurpur in Kangra district, Mahajan did his graduation from Punjab University, Lahore. An ardent social activist, artists and literary persons, Mahajan started his career as a student leader. His electoral politics started in Nurpur when he was elected as president to Municipal Committee and served on the post for five consecutive terms.
He was also the founding member of Indian Youth Congress and was elected to Himachal Assembly five times in 1977, 1982, 1985, 1993 and 2003. He was elected to eleventh Lok Sabha from Kangra parliamentary constituency in 1996 but lost the mid-term Lok Sabha polls in 1998.
He retired from the electoral politics in 2007, at the time when he was sitting minister to launch his son Ajay Mahajan.
Besides, he also held important organisational positions in state congress such Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief for three terms and as District Congress Committee (DCC) chief in Kangra.
One of Himachal Pradesh's top political and social figures, Mahajan had left behind an indelible political legacy- especially his contribution for rural development. He is also considered as the legend of rural development in the state.
Mahajan had held portfolios like revenue, transport, IPH and rural development and Panchayat raj.
"He was the respected leader who dedicated his whole life for the service of the state. Though he was my political rival but in personal life he among my best friends," said veteran BJP stalwart and former chief minister, Shanta Kumar while paying his tribute to Mahajan.
Meanwhile DCC Kangra convened a meeting to condole the death of veteran leader. "He was not only a politician but an institution in himself. The vacuum created by his death could not be filed easily," said congress legislature from Nagrota Bagwan, GS Bali after the condolence meeting.