Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary was walking with senior party leader Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Yatra on Saturday morning before he collapsed and succumbed to complications. Heart attack. In a video from a Congress outreach programme, the Jalandhar MP and Rahul Gandhi can be seen walking together on a yatra, before another man joins Chaudhary to interact with the former party chief. The aspect changes. In another video shared by the Congress party, Santokh Singh Chaudhary can be seen shouting ‘Bharat Jodo’ near an intersection of roads leading to Phagwara and Phul. (Also read | ‘Our eyes are closed and we…’: Manish Tiwari on death of Congress MP during yatra)
Punjab Leader of Opposition Pratap Singh Bajwa said: “Chaudhry was walking with a Congress MLA from Kerala when he suddenly collapsed due to a heart attack.”
Chaudhary was taken in an ambulance to Civil Hospital in Phagwara where the Congress leader was declared brought dead. He was 76 years old.
Later, the body was taken to his Jalandhar residence.
Expressing shock at Chaudhary’s sudden demise, Gandhi said, “He was a hard-working leader, a pious person and a strong pillar of the Congress family, who devoted his life to public service from Youth Congress to Member of Parliament. “
“My condolences to the bereaved family.”
Congress president Mallikarjan Kharge said Santokh Singh Chaudhary’s death was “a big blow to the party and the organisation.”
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla condoled Chaudhary’s death and said the MP always raised his voice on issues of public interest.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann tweeted, “Deeply saddened by the untimely death of Congress MP from Jalandhar Santokh Singh Chaudhary, may God rest his soul”.
Yatra suspended for today. The last rites will be performed tomorrow. Rahul Gandhi has not been spoken to yet but we all feel that after the last rites we will start the yatra. It will remain suspended till the last rites:
Congress general secretary in charge of communication Jairam Ramesh said that the yatra will be suspended for 24 hours as a mark of respect to Chaudhary. It will resume tomorrow afternoon from Khalsa College Ground, Jalandhar.