Tota Singh, leader of Akali, has died

Chandigarh, May 21 (PTI) Tota Singh, leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and former minister of Punjab, died on Saturday at a private hospital in Mohali after a long illness.

Singh had served as Minister of Agriculture and Education in the Akali government. He served as senior vice-president and member of the central committee of the SAD.

He was also a member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak committee.

Singh was first elected as a legislator from the Moga Assembly seat in 1997. He was inducted Minister of Education in the government led by Parkash Singh Badal at the time.

He was re-elected from Moga in the 2002 Assembly elections but lost in 2007. Singh was elected to the Dharamkot Assembly seat in 2012 and became Minister of Agriculture. Singh, however, lost Assembly elections in 2017 and 2022.

Singh’s last rites will take place in his hometown of Moga on May 24.

In a tweet in Punjabi, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann expressed his grief over Singh’s disappearance.

SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal said Singh was a father figure to him.

“Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Akali’s Senior Leader, Jathedar Tota Singh Ji. Jathedar Sahab was a father figure to me and an inspiration to all of us. His valuable guidance and sage advice will be forever missed. I am with Brar family in this hour of mourning,” Badal tweeted.

SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema said: “It is for the information of all concerned that the cremation of former minister and senior leader of SAD Jath Tota Singh ji who departed for his heavenly abode today morning will be May 24 (Tuesday) at 11 a.m. in Moga.” Punjab Congress leader Amarinder Singh Raja Warring also expressed his condolences over Singh’s death.

“My heartfelt condolences on the sad passing of veteran leader of Akali, Jathedar Tota Singh Ji,” Warring said in a tweet.

Former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said, “My heartfelt condolences go out to the family of former Agriculture Minister Jathedar Tota Singh ji who passed away today. I pray to Waheguru Ji to grant eternal peace to the soul of the deceased and strength to the family to bear this loss. PTI CHS VSD DIV DIV

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