Former Manipur chief minister and veteran Congress leader Rishang Keishing died on Tuesday at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Imphal, his family members said. He was 97.

The four-time chief minister, who was admitted to the hospital on July 1 with serious medical problems, died at 8.15 pm.

A freedom fighter and member of India’s first parliament (1952-57), he retired from the Rajya Sabha as its oldest member in 2014 after serving two terms since being elected to the upper house in 2002.

As Manipur’s chief minister from 1980 to 1988 and 1995 to 1998, he had also escaped assassination attempts by the militants several times.

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh condoled the demise of the former chief minister. In his message, the chief minister remembered Keishing as one of the longest serving chief ministers of the state.

He said, “Rishang Keishing’s contribution towards Manipur’s progress will always be remembered. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Rishang Keishing.”

The chief minister said that Rishang Keishing was a people’s man and a pragmatic leader.

As a mark of respect to the departed soul, a three-day state mourning will be observed, and the government offices and educational institutions will remain closed on August 23.

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