Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary walked alongside senior party leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday morning during the Bharat Jodo Yatra before he collapsed and died after suffering a heart attack. In a video from the Congress’s outreach programme, the Jalandhar MP and Rahul Gandhi can be seen walking together at the Yatra before another person swaps side with Chaudhary to have a chat with former party chief. In another video shared by Congress party, Santokh Singh Chaudhary can be seen raising slogans of ‘Bharat Jodo’ near an intersection of roads leading to Phagwara and Phillaur. (Also Read | ‘Our eyes locked and we…’: Manish Tewari on Congress MP’s death during Yatra)
Punjab leader of opposition Partap Singh Bajwa said: “Chaudhary was walking along with a Congress MP from Kerala when he suddenly collapsed after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.”
Chaudhary was rushed in an ambulance to the civil hospital in Phagwara where the Congress leader was declared brought dead. He was 76.
The body was later taken to his Jalandhar residence.
Gandhi expressed shock over the sudden demise of Chaudhary saying “he was a down to earth hardworking leader, a pious person and a strong pillar of the Congress family, who dedicated his life to public service from Youth Congress to Member of Parliament.”
“I express my condolences to the bereaved family.”
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said Santokh Singh Chaudhary’s death was “a great blow to the party and organisation.”
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla expressed condolences on the demise of Chaudhary and said that the parliamentarian was always vocal on issues of public interest.
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann tweeted, “I am deeply saddened by the untimely death of Congress Member of Parliament from Jalandhar, Santokh Singh Chaudhary.. May God rest his soul in peace.”
Yatra suspended for today. Tomorrow, last rites will be held. Haven’t spoken to Rahul Gandhi yet but we all feel that after last rites we’ll start the Yatra. Till last rites it’ll be suspended:
Jairam Ramesh, Congress general secretary in-charge of communications, said that the Yatra will be remain suspended for 24 hours as a mark of respect for Choudhary. It will resume tomorrow afternoon from Khalsa College Ground, Jalandhar.
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