Manmohan calls Surjeet ‘a dear friend’

August 1st, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Colombo, Aug 1 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday mourned the death of Indian Communist leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet, calling him a “great Indian and above all a dear friend”. “I was deeply shocked and pained by the news (of his death),” the prime minister said in a statement soon after his arrival here to attend the SAARC summit.

Manmohan Singh described Surjeet, a former general secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), as “a great political leader, a true patriot, a man committed to the welfare of the downtrodden, a great Indian and above all a dear friend”.

“I greatly valued his friendship and his guidance. As I said recently in parliament, he was one of the architects of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

“Sardar Surjeet dedicated his entire life to the communist movement in India.”

Surjeet is widely considered one of the architects of the UPA-Left marriage in 2004 that led to the UPA government under the leadership of Manmohan Singh.

Manmohan Singh said he was one of the leading lights in Punjab “and for many years an outstanding leader of the communist movement in India”.

“Under his leadership the communist movement came into the national mainstream and contributed to giving a progressive orientation to our social and economic policies.

“I always valued his advice and reached out to him for support and guidance in managing the UPA government.”

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