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Fotedar dead, Sonia calls him guiding light

Gurugram, Sep 28 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Makhan Lal Fotedar, who was a political advisor to Indira Gandhi and was known as a Gandhi family loyalist, passed away here on Thursday.

A former Cabinet minister and once called the ‘Chanakya’ of Congress party, Fotedar had been ailing for some time.

He was shifted to Medicity Medanta Hospital from his house here in Sushant Lok area after he complained of uneasiness. He died in the hospital, a party leader told IANS.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi offered her condolences.

“Fotedar was one of the guiding lights for the Congress and has left behind a void which can never be filled,” she said.

Gandhi said that in his long and active political career spanning over five decades, Fotedar tirelessly fought for the rights of the people and served them with utmost integrity.

Fotedar was born into a middle class Kashmiri Brahmin family at Mattan in Anantnag in the Kashmir Valley and was initiated into politics by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the 1950s.

He served as then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s political secretary from 1980 to 1984 until her assassination and was one of her confidants.

He was also one of the two signatories to her will and advised her on major issues. Fotedar was a permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision making body.

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