Former Union minister and seven-time MP Santosh Mohan Dev breathed his last on Wednesday.
“Nothing could have prepared me for this moment. I lost him at 6.06am today. Thank you everyone for your prayers, your love for him,” Silchar MP Sushmita Dev, daughter of Santosh Mohan Dev, tweeted on Wednesday morning.
The 83-year-old seasoned politician died of multiple organ failure at a private hospital in Silchar. He was suffering from various ailments for quite some time.
The seven-time MP was first elected to the Parliament in 1980. He represented Silchar five times and was elected from Tripura West constituency twice. He has the rare distinction of being elected from two different states.
He was the Union minister of state for tourism and communications during 1986-1988 and the Union minister of state for home affairs during 1988-1989. He also held the charge of Union minister of state for steel (independent charge) in the PV Narasimha Rao government in 1991.
During the period 2005 to 2009, Dev was the minister of heavy industry and public enterprises in the Union cabinet under Manmohan Singh.
He finally lost to Kabindra Purkayastha of the BJP in the 2009 elections for the 15th Lok Sabha.
All the senior leaders and minister have expressed their sorrow at the demise of Dev.
“Saddened by the passing away of Shri Santosh Mohan Dev. He was veteran political leader who worked extensively for welfare of people. My thoughts are with the family and supporters of Shri Santosh Mohan Dev in this hour of grief,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that the state government has decided to declare August 3 as local holiday in Barak Valley as mark of respect to the departed soul.
In a statement, Sonowal termed his death as an irreparable loss to the country and mentioned that the former Union minister relentlessly worked for the welfare of the people of the country during his life time.
Meanwhile, Sonowal directed the chief secretary to the state government to take necessary steps for performing his last rites with state honour.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee said that he was ‘deeply saddened at the passing away of long time friend and colleague, Shri Santosh Mohan Dev. My condolences to the family’.
Besides his political career, as a youngster Dev used to be a football referee and played tennis at the state level.
Santosh Mohan Dev did his graduation from GC college in Silchar and had an MBA from the Welsh College in Cardiff UK.
He left behind his wife former MLA Bithika Dev and four daughters including Sushmita who is the youngest.