AMRITSAR – Former Higher Education Minister for Punjab and a former Secretary of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Manjit Singh Calcutta passed away here on Wednesday morning.
The veteran Akali leader had created a flutter within Akali circles by accusing SGPC management of “violation of hukamnamas” issued by Akal Takht from time to time.
He had been unwell for the past few days and was on ventilator at the Kakkar Hospital in Amritsar since January 4, where he breathed last. Calcutta won the 1997 assembly elections in 1997 in Amritsar (south) constituency on a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ticket and remained Punjab minister from 1998 to 1999. He also worked for SAD for 15 years.
He also rebelled against the Akali Dal and was against dominance of the Badals in SAD. He was born in Calcutta and his father was transporter there. He became a senior member of All India Sikh Student Federation in 1953.
He is survived by his wife Santokh Kaur, son Gurpreet Singh and two daughters, who are in Canada.
Half day holiday declared
Following the news of Manjit Singh’s demise, the Punjab government declared that all government departments and government boards and corporations will remain closed for the second half of the day,
His cremation will take place here on Thursday noon.