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PM condoles Ray's demise

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today condoled the death of former West Bengal Chief Minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray, describing him as a leader who contributed immensely to the processes of nation-building.

delhi Updated: Nov 07, 2010 15:04 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today condoled the death of former West Bengal Chief Minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray, describing him as a leader who contributed immensely to the processes of nation-building.

In his message to the late leader's wife Maya Ray, Singh said, "I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of your husband Siddhartha Shankar Ray. He had a very long public career in which he contributed immensely to the processes of nation-building in a variety of ways."

A prominent barrister, Ray started his political career as a Cabinet Minister in West Bengal in the late 1950s and was later the state Chief Minister from 1972 to 1977. As Chief Minister, he played a key role in tackling the Naxalite problem and in the rehabilitation of refugees from Bangladesh.

He also served as Union Education Minister and Punjab Governor. As the Indian Ambassador to the US in the early 1990s, he contributed to the strengthening of Indo-US ties.

"In Ray's death, we have lost a staunch nationalist, a modernist and a widely respected leader, whose work spanned a diverse range of areas in public life. I will always remember him as a senior colleague of the Indian National Congress and a very valued friend," the Prime Minister said. "On this sad occasion, I extend my heartfelt condolences to you and to all other near and dear ones of Ray. May God give you the strength to bear with this irreparable loss. I pray for peace of the departed soul," he added.