Congress lost several high-profile leaders in their prime | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Congress lost several high-profile leaders in their prime

delhi Updated: Sep 03, 2009 15:23 IST

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy is among many high-profile leaders the Congress has lost in the prime of their political careers in two decades.

The common thread that ran through all leaders - former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, former central ministers Madhav Rao Scindia, Rajesh Pilot and now Rajasekhara Reddy - was that they were snatched in the prime of their political career.

YSR's death "is an irreparable loss for the state of Andhra Pradesh, the country and the Congress party. We have lost a great leader and a great human being," Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad told IANS.

"The party has been faced huge losses with the premature deaths of its great leaders like Rajiv Gandhi, Rajesh Pilot, Madhavrao Scindia and now Rajasekhara Reddy. Losses of these leaders has created a void in political life and in the personal lives of their loved ones which can never be filled," Ahmad added.

In September 2001, former railway minister Madhavrao Scindia, 56, died in a plane crash while on his way to Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh where he was to address a public meeting.

Scindia, a scion of one of India's most well-known princely families, had earned the reputation of being one of country's most sophisticated politicians who could one day become prime minister. He had come into prominence during the prime ministership of Rajiv Gandhi 1984-1989 and remained a MP for nine consecutive terms until his untimely death.

In June 2000, former internal security minister Rajesh Pilot, 55, died in a road accident at Bhandana in his Dausa parliamentary constituency in Rajasthan.

Pilot was in the driver's seat when his car collided head-on with a Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation bus. An Indian Air Force fighter pilot turned politician, Pilot was a rising star in the Congress who was often described as nurturing ambitions of become prime minister.

Rajiv Gandhi was just 46 years old when he was assassinated by a suicide bomber in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu in May 1991 while campaigning in the general elections that year.

He was all set to return to power in this election, which the Congress did, bringing to the helm P.V. Narasimha Rao who had announced his retirement from politics before the campaign.