Senior Congress leader and six-time MP from Amritsar Raghunandan Lal Bhatia passed away after a brief illness, his family members said on Saturday. He was 100.
Raghunandan Bhatia died at a private hospital here on Friday night and he is survived by his son Ramesh Bhatia, daughter Saroj Munjal and younger brother J L Bhatia, they said. He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1972 from the Amritsar parliamentary constituency, and again re-elected from the same seat in the 1980, 1985, 1992, 1996 and 1999 elections as a member of the Indian National Congress.
Raghunandan Bhatia had also served as the governor of Kerala from 2004 to 2008 and the governor of Bihar from 2008 to 2009. He had also served as the minister of state for external affairs in 1992. He, as a senior member of the Congress, held various positions in the party, including the post of Punjab unit president and general secretary.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressed grief over the death of Raghunandan Bhatia. “Saddened to lose former Governor & Senior Congress Leader & six-time MP, Raghunandan Lal Bhatia Ji. My thoughts and prayers are with his family members in their hour of grief. May his soul rest in peace,” the chief minister tweeted.
Punjab Congress leader and MLA Raj Kumar Verka condoled the demise of Raghunandan Bhatia, describing him as ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of the Indian politics.