Former Union minister and the BJP’s Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria (71 years) passed away on Thursday (May 18) after a brief illness in Chandigarh.
As BJP’s senior leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, expressed their condolences at Kataria’s death, Haryana announced one day state mourning as a mark of respect to the departed leader.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his anguish at the news of Kataria’s demise and said he made a rich contribution towards public service and social justice.
Modi said in a tweet, “Pained by the passing away of MP and former minister Shri Rattan Lal Kataria Ji. He will be remembered for his rich contribution towards public service and social justice. He played a key role in strengthening (the) BJP in Haryana. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti.”
Pained by the passing away of MP and former Minister Shri Rattan Lal Kataria Ji. He will be remembered for his rich contribution towards public service and social justice. He played a key role in strengthening BJP in Haryana. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/57sZBLIYMb
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 18, 2023
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Kataria was admitted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh after initial complaints of pneumonia. Later, he developed other health complications and he remained in the hospital for treatment, an aide told PTI.
For the past few days, he had been running a fever and his health deteriorated further on Wednesday. he said and added that Kataria died around 3.30 am. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. His last rites will be held at Manimajra in the afternoon.
Kataria served as minister of state in the Union ministry of Jal Shakti and the ministry of social justice and empowerment from May 2019 till July 2021. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Ambala in 1999, 2014 and 2019.
A prominent Dalit face of the BJP, Kataria served as the party’s Haryana unit chief from 2000 to 2003. He was also a minister in the Haryana government.
As a child artiste, Kataria had received an award from the then-Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru.
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‘Irreparable loss to politics’: Haryana CM
Expressing his condolences, Khattar said, “I am deeply saddened by the demise of Kataria ji.” The Haryana CM, who reached Kataria’s Panchkula residence along with Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta, said in a tweet in Hindi that the former Union minister had always raised his voice in Parliament for the benefit of society and the progress of the people of Haryana.
Kataria’s demise is an irreparable loss to politics, he added.
Khattar and the BJP’s Haryana unit chief Om Prakash Dhankar recalled Kataria’s cheerful nature and said he always had a smile on his face. Dhankar said Kataria rose from a humble background to become a Union minister, adding, “He left us very soon”.
His death is a loss to the country, Haryana, the BJP and me personally, Dhankar said.
Jannayak Janata Party leader and Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala, home minister Anil Vij, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Congress leader Kumari Selja also expressed condolences following Kataria’s death.