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Sonia, Rahul to attend Deora funeral

Mumbai : Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will attend the funeral of veteran party leader and former union minister Murli S. Deora, who died Monday, a party spokesperson said here.

Deora, 77, died early Monday after a brief illness.

Besides the Gandhi family – with whom Deora enjoyed a close personal rapport right from the days of the late Indira Gandhi – senior party leaders like Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora and chief ministers of some Congress-ruled states are also expected for the funeral, said Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Sachin Sawant.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh described Deora as “a popular Congress leader who played an active role in national politics”.

“Saddened to know the news of Deora’s demise. I express my condolences to Milind Deora on his father’s demise. May God give him and his family the strength to bear this tragic loss,” Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said Deora’s demise was “a personal loss” to him.

“Murli bhai is no more. A great patriot and a Congress stalwart, we shall miss his wit and his sane advice,” Digvijaya Singh said in a message.