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Veteran Congress Leader, Indira Gandhi Aide RK Dhawan Passes Away At 81

During his years as Indira Gandhi’s personal secretary from 1962 to 1984, Dhawan reportedly wielded immense clout, with some claiming that he controlled information and access to the then prime minister.

PTI

Updated:August 6, 2018, 11:45 PM IST
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Veteran Congress Leader, Indira Gandhi Aide RK Dhawan Passes Away At 81
File photo of senior Congress leader RK Dhawan in New Delhi. (PTI Photo/Vijay Kumar Joshi)
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New Delhi: RK Dhawan, a close confidant of former prime minister Indira Gandhi and known to be part of her inner circle during the Emergency years, passed away on Monday. He was 81.

Dhawan breathed his last at the BL Kapur hospital around 7pm, sources close to the family said. The former Union minister was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday for age-related ailments.

“Our homage to veteran Congress leader, Sh. R.K.Dhawan, who breathed his last today. His tireless spirit, immeasurable commitment & untiring dedication to the Congress ideals will always be remembered. RIP,” Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala tweeted.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee also expressed grief at Dhawan's demise.



Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh said he was shocked and saddened at the demise and recalled that he had worked closely with him. “I would always remember him as an astute politician and loyal soldier of the party. May he rest in peace and may God give his family the courage to bear the loss,” he said on Twitter.



During his years as Indira Gandhi’s personal secretary from 1962 to 1984, Dhawan reportedly wielded immense clout, with some claiming that he controlled information and access to the then prime minister. During the Emergency years (1975-77), Dhawan was among Indira Gandhi's inner circle of leaders.

After Rajiv Gandhi took over the reins of the Congress party and the government following his mother's assassination, there was talk of Dhawan being sidelined. However, he later returned to party affairs and was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1990. He had also been a member of the Congress Working Committee.

He was appointed minister of state (independent charge) for housing and urban development (1995-1996). Dhawan also served as a member on various parliamentary committees.

He tied the knot at the age of 74 with Achla in 2011 and is survived by his wife.

The immediate cause of his death has been ascertained as septicaemia and acute kidney injury, a source at the hospital said. “He was suffering from cancer. He was admitted on July 31 with complaints of drowsiness, decreased urine output, decreased oral intake, loose stools and weakness,” the source said.

“Though he was initially admitted to a ward, he was shifted to the ICU on August 2 as his condition had deteriorated. He died today at 7.09pm,” the source added.

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