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Modi, Sonia condole Barnala’s death

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday condoled the death of former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala, who died on Saturday following a brief spell of illness.

“Pained by demise of Shri Surjit Singh Barnala. His rich service & contribution to the nation will be remembered. Condolences to his family,” Modi said in a tweet.

Barnala, who ruled Punjab from 1985 to 1987, was admitted to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandhigarh recently where he breathed his last on Saturday.

“Barnala Saab was a freedom fighter, dedicated political leader, social helmsman, a good writer and a wonderful human being,” said Gandhi.

“He was instrumental in maitaining peace in Punjab, figting terrorism and played a decisive role in executing the Rajiv-Longowal accord,” she added, referring to the agreement signed in 1985 between her husband and then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Akali Dal leader Sant Harcharan Singh Longowal.