New Delhi/Kolkata, Nov 13, 2010 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has condoled the passing away of former West Bengal Chief Minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray.
In a condolence message to the late leader’s wife Maya Ray, Singh described Ray as one who contributed immensely to the processes of nation building.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of your husband Shri Siddhartha Shankar Ray,” Singh wrote in his message to Maya Ray.
“Shri Siddhartha Shankar Ray had a very long public career in which he contributed immensely to the processes of nation building in a variety of ways. A prominent barrister, he started his political career as a Cabinet Minister in West Bengal in the late fifties and was later the Chief Minister of the state from 1972 to 1977.
“As Chief Minister of West Bengal, Shri Ray played a key role in tackling the naxalite problem and in the rehabilitation of refugees from Bangladesh. He also served as Union Education Minister and Governor of Punjab. As the Indian Ambassador to the United States in the early nineties, he contributed to the strengthening of Indo-US ties.”
Singh’s message further read: “In Shri Ray’s death, we have lost a staunch nationalist, a modernist and a widely respected leader, whose work spanned a diverse range of areas in public life. I will always remember him as a senior colleague of the Indian National Congress and a very valued friend.
“On this sad occasion, I extend my heartfelt condolences to you and to all other near and dear ones of Shri Ray. May God give you the strength to bear with this irreparable loss. I pray for peace of the departed soul.”
Former West Bengal Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddhartha Shankar Ray passed away on Saturday evening at his south Kolkata residence. He was 90 and is survived by his wife Maya Ray.
He was suffering from kidney problem and was suffering from protracted illness. He underwent dialysis of late. He breathed his last at 6-50 pm.