Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former Punjab minister Tota Singh, 81, died at a private hospital in Mohali on Saturday after prolonged illness.
Tota Singh had served as the agriculture and education minister in the Akali government. He was the senior vice-president and a member of the core committee of the SAD.
He was also a member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
Tota Singh was elected as legislator for the first time from the Moga Assembly seat in 1997. He was inducted as education minister in the Parkash Singh Badal-led government at that time.
He was re-elected from Moga in the 2002 Assembly elections but he lost in 2007. Tota Singh was elected from the Dharamkot Assembly seat in 2012 and became the agriculture minister. He, however, lost the assembly elections in 2017 and 2022.
Tota Singh’s last rites will be held at his native place in Moga on May 24.
In a tweet in Punjabi, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann expressed grief over Tota Singh’s death.
ਸ਼੍ਰੋਮਣੀ ਅਕਾਲੀ ਦਲ ਦੇ ਸੀਨੀਅਰ ਆਗੂ ਤੇ ਸਾਬਕਾ ਕੈਬਨਿਟ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਜੱਥੇਦਾਰ ਤੋਤਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਅਕਾਲ ਚਲਾਣੇ ‘ਤੇ ਦੁੱਖ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਕਰਦਾ ਹਾਂ..ਪਰਮਾਤਮਾ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਰੂਹ ਨੂੰ ਸ਼ਾਂਤੀ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ੇ..ਪਰਿਵਾਰ ਨੂੰ ਭਾਣਾ ਮੰਨਣ ਦਾ ਬਲ਼ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ੇ। pic.twitter.com/I45L6lpsiH
— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) May 21, 2022
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said Singh was a father figure to him.
“Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of senior Akali leader Jathedar Tota Singh Ji. Jathedar sahab was a father figure to me & a source of inspiration for all of us. His invaluable advice & wise counsel will always be missed. I stand with Brar family in this hour of grief,” Sukhbir Singh Badal tweeted.
SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema said, “It is for the information of all concerned that cremation of Former Minister & Senior leader of SAD Jath Tota Singh ji who left for his heavenly abode today morning will be done on May 24 (Tuesday) at 11 AM in Moga.” Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring also condoled Singh’s death.
“My heartfelt condolences over the sad demise of veteran Akali leader, Jathedar Tota Singh Ji,”Amarinder Singh Raja Warring said in a tweet.
Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said, “My heartfelt condolences are with 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 departed soul and strength to the family to bear this loss.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)