Veteran Congress leader and former Cabinet minister Sat Mahajan, 85, died this morning of cardiac arrest in New Delhi. He had undergone angioplasty surgery at Escorts hospital this week and was discharged from the hospital only last evening.

Sat Mahajan had been Cabinet minister thrice in the Virbhadra Singh government, Revenue Minister (at Cabinet rank) from May 1980 to January 1985, Transport Minister (of Cabinet rank) from 1985 to 1990. He was the Chairman of Committee on Estimates from 1994 to 1995 and Rural Development Minister (at Cabinet rank) from 6 March 2003 onwards. He was the. He was considered as legend of rural development in states and was referred to as “Field Marshall” in the Kangra region of Himachal Pradesh

Born on July 27, 1927 at Nurpur, Kangra District, Mahajan was elected to the state Assembly five times 1977, 1982, 1985, 1993 and in 2003. He also remained an Member of Parliament for the Kangra Parliamentary Constituency from 1996 to 1998.

Started political career as student leader and held the post of the Secretary of the Current Affairs Society during his college years. He was the President of the Nurpur Municipal Committee for five consecutive terms. He was the founder member of Indian Youth Congress. He has represented the Indian National Congress as one of the member delegation in the International Socialist Conference held in Lisbon. He was the President of the Kangra District Congress Committee and Pradesh Congress Committee for three terms.

His son, Ajay Mahajan, is also a politician and had fought unsuccessful election on Congress ticket in 2007 assembly poll. Mahajan took retirement from the electoral politics in 2007, at the time when he was sitting minister. He was on some of the key committees of the Congress, including newly-formed campaign Committee of the party for upcoming polls.

HPCC president and five times state Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, former HPCC presidents Kaul Singh Thakur and Viplov Thakur, CLP leader Vidya Stokes, Congress senior leader Sukh Ram, Congress Chopal leader Rajneesh Kimta, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and BJP National Vice president Shanta Kumar have condoled the demise of Sat Mahajan. Chief Minsiter, in his condolence message said that Shri Sat Mahajan was a seasoned and experienced politician who remained Minister for several years besides President of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee. He said that services rendered by him will always be remembered. All Cabinet Ministers have also expressed grief over death of Sat Mahajan.