Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former Punjab minister Tota Singh, 81, passed away at a private hospital in Mohali on Saturday after a prolonged illness.
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. Singh was elected as a 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. Singh was elected from the Dharamkot Assembly seat in 2012 and became the agriculture minister. Singh, however, lost the assembly elections in 2017 and 2022.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed grief over Singh's death. "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 the Brar family in this hour of grief," Badal tweeted.
Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring also condoled the death of Tota Singh. "My heartfelt condolences over the sad demise of veteran Akali leader, Jathedar Tota Singh Ji," Warring said in a tweet.