Hundreds bid final adieu to senior Congress leader Bali in Kangra
All roads leading to Nagrota Bagwan in Kangra were chock-a-block on Sunday as hundreds of supporters and admirers bid a tearful adieu to former minister and senior Congress leader Gurmukh Singh Bali.
Bali had undergone a kidney transplant at a private hospital in Delhi and was shifted to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after developing post-surgery complications.
A four-term former legislator, Bali’s last journey began from his house in Kangra town and his mortal remains were taken to Nagrota Bagwan, his constituency, in an open vehicle.
People lined up along the highway and the towns to pay last respect to their beloved leader. His body was placed at OBC Bhawan in Nagrota Bagwan where political leaders and the general public paid him floral tributes.
Among the political leaders who paid tributes to Bali at Nagrota included the leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, former Union minister Chandresh Kumari, Dalhousie legislator Asha Kumari, Sujanpur MLA Rajinder Singh Rana, BJP’s Mandi legislator Anil Sharma, former MLA Rajesh Dharmani and many others.
Bali was cremated with full state honour at the crematorium near Chamunda temple. His son Raghubir Singh Bali lit the pyre.
Forest minister Rakesh Pathania, Kangra deputy commissioner Nipun Jindal and superintendent of police (SP) Khushal Chand Sharma paid tributes to the former minister on behalf of the state government.
‘End of an era as party loses most vocal leader’
Leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri termed Bali’s demise a great loss to the party as well as the state.
“It is a sad day for the people of the state. Bali always worked for the poor and downtrodden. He believed in development-oriented politics and always worked in that direction,” said Agnihotri.
Whichever department he headed as a minister, Agnihotri said, Bali always tried to bring new innovation.
Whether it was the tourism department, transport or food and civil supply department, he worked with a new vision.
Bali was very vocal on the issue of unemployment and was instrumental in implementing an unemployment allowance scheme in the state during the Congress regime.
He is also credited with bringing electric buses to Himachal. Known for his flamboyance, Bali maintained a firm grip on bureaucracy. He would not hesitate to clash with the chief minister of his own government over policy decisions if ignored.