Veteran Congress leader, former Union Minister Sheila Kaul passes away

Sheila Kaul
Sheila Kaul
Former Union Minister and Himachal Pradesh Governor Sheila Kaul passed away here last night, sources close to her family said.
She was 100. She had been ailing for some time, the sources said. Her funeral was held here today.
Ms Kaul, was married to Kailas Nath Kaul, the well-known botanist who established the National Botanical Research Institute in Lucknow and brother-in-law of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He had passed away in 1983.
She is survived by her sons Gautam Kaul, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, and Vikram Kaul, a sports administrator who was associated with cricket in Dubai for many years, and daughter Deepa Kaul, a former Congress Minister.
Born on February 7, 1915, Ms Kaul, had a degree in arts from the Lahore Women's College and in teaching from the Sir Ganga Ram Training College, Lahore.
A member of the Congress party, she began her political career as a municipal corporator in Lucknow in the early 1960s and later served as a member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.
She was elected to the Lok Sabha five times, starting from 1971, representing Lucknow and later Rai Bareli in Uttar Pradesh.
She served as Union Minister of State, Education, Culture and Social Welfare between 1980-84 in the Indira Gandhi government and as Minister for Housing and Urban Development in the P. V. Narasimha Rao government in the early 1990s. In 1995, she was appointed as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh and served in that position for about a year.
She was a state badminton champion in the pre-partition Punjab.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi was among those who condoled the passing away of Ms Kaul.
Ms Gandhi eulogised her role as an MP, Union Minister and Governor in a public career of five decades and said that her absence would be felt by the Congress party for a long time to come.

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