Rao Birender Singh, second CM of Haryana, passes away

Former Haryana chief minister Rao Birender Singh died at his residence in Gurgaon on Wednesday. He was 88.

Singh had complained of chest pain and died soon after, his family said. He is survived by three sons, including Gurgaon MP and former Union minister Rao Inderjit Singh, Kosli legislator Rao Yudvender Singh and Rao Ajit Singh, and a daughter.

The Haryana Government has declared three days' state mourning from September 30 to October 2. A public holiday was declared on Wednesday in all government offices. A state funeral will be held at Rewari on Thursday. All government offices, including those of boards, corporations, and educational institutions in Rewari district will observe a public holiday on Thursday. Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia and Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda expressed grief over Singh's death.

Rao Birender Singh was the second chief minister of Haryana—from March 24 to November 2, 1967—and was the first leader in the state to constitute a regional party, 'Vishal Haryana Party', which he later merged with the Congress in 1978.

Born at Nangal in Rewari district of Haryana, Singh pursued higher education at Delhi's St Stephen's College. Singh, who remained a minister in the Punjab Government from 1956 to 1961, served on many key posts, including the speaker of Haryana Legislative Assembly and the Union agriculture minister. He was thrice elected to the Lok Sabha. Besides, he had also been a member of the Punjab Legislative Council and Haryana Legislative Assembly.

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