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Ex-Union minister RL Bhatia dies of Covid-19 in Amritsar

The six-time Lok Sabha member and former Kerala governor passed away around midnight, cremation today
By Anil Sharma
UPDATED ON MAY 15, 2021 10:35 AM IST
Former Union minister of state for external affairs RL Bhatia, 99, died at a private hospital in Amritsar late on Friday night. (HT file photo)

Former Union minister of state for external affairs RL Bhatia died after testing positive for Covid-19 at a private hospital in Amritsar on Friday night.

He was 99. Bhatia, who also served as the governor of Kerala from 2004-08, is survived by a son and a daughter, both based in Amritsar.

Also read: India adds 326,098 new Covid cases, 3,890 more deaths; tally over 24.37 million

Amritsar West Congress MLA Raj Kumar Verka said that Bhatia was undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at the local Fortis Escorts Hospital and died around 11.30pm on Friday. The cremation will be held around 11.30am on Saturday.

Bhatia was first elected as member of Parliament from Amritsar in 1972. He was re-elected in 1980, 1985, 1992, 1996 and 1999.

He served as a member of the executive committee of the Congress parliamentary party from 1975-77 and was the chairman of the committee of petitions in the Lok Sabha in 1983. He was the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee from 1982-84 and AICC general secretary in 1991. He was also a member of the select committee constituted in 1992 for the amendment of the Constitution.

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