Former Manipur Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Rishang Keishing died on Tuesday at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) here, his family members said. He was 97
The four-time Chief Minister, who was admitted to the hospital on July 1 with serious medical problems, died at 8.15 p.m.
A freedom fighter and member of India's first parliament (1952-57), he retired from the Rajya Sabha as its oldest member in 2014 after serving two terms since being elected to the upper house in 2002.
As Manipur's Chief Minister from 1980 to 1988 and 1995 to 1998, he had also escaped assassination attempts by militants several times.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, his Congress predecessor Okram Ibobi Singh and many others have deeply condoled the demise of Keishing, a Tangkhul tribe politician who served as state Minister, Speaker, Chief Minister and MP in both houses of parliament several times.
"Manipur has lost a brilliant leader," said Biren Singh. Ibobi Singh said: "It will be no easy task to fill the void."
Hailing from Ukhrul district of Manipur, Keishing did his schooling in Shillong and started his career as a school teacher.
Keishing had once told IANS that he had planned to organise a lunch for the inter-communal couples. "Those tribals who married non-tribal women and vice versa ought to be congratulated," he said but died with this dream unfulfilled.