KC Pant, who was a senior minister in the cabinets of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and was the deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission during the NDA regime, died on Thursday morning after brief illness.
Born in Nainital, 81-year-old Pant is survived by wife Ila Pant and two sons.
The son of Bharat Ratna Govind Ballabh Pant and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Krishan Chandra Pant had been ailing for some time now.
As per his last wish, he was cremated in the presence of his family and without any state honours, a privilege given to former Union ministers.
"After having been a public figure for more than 50 years, the family dedicated a private mourning in his memory," a statement by his wife and two sons said.
Defence minister AK Antony reached his home to pay a floral tribute but by then his body had been taken for cremation.
Pant started his political career as a Congress man and first got elected to Lok Sabha in 1962 and also led the party in Rajya Sabha in 1979-80.
He held the all important portfolio of finance in Indira Gandhi's cabinet. As a defence minister in Rajiv Gandhi's cabinet, he defended the government on Bofors.
In 1998, he joined the BJP and was appointed as deputy chairperson of the Planning Commission.
PM Manmohan Singh in his condolence message to his wife said: "I convey my deepest condolences to you and other members of the family. I pray for the departed soul."
"KC Pant was a great man. When we were in the government, he did very good work under Atalji. He was a generous man and a favourite in party circles," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
Narendra Modi tweeted: "Demise of Shri KC Pant is unfortunate. He made a distinguished mark in public life. May his soul rest in peace."