New Delhi, Nov. 15 (ANI): Defence Minister A.K. Antony has expressed profound grief over the demise of his predecessor K.C. Pant.
Pant was India's Defence Minister from 1987 to 1989.
"The contribution of Shri Pant will be fondly remembered by the countrymen. Shri Pant steered the Ministry at one of the most critical junctures of history as the Indian Peace Keeping Forces were deployed in Sri Lanka as a stepping stone to the tortuous journey for peace in the island nation," said Antony in his condolence message.
"The Indian troops were also deployed at short notice in Maldives to abort a coup attempt, in a clear manifestation of our commitment to the promotion of peace and stability in South Asian Region," he added.
Antony further said 'Pant bolstered the Indian Armed Forces in a big way with the acquisition of the country's flagship aircraft carrier INS Viraat and Mig-29 aircraft among many other acquisitions during his tenure as the Defence Minister'.
"He was also instrumental in the setting up of the first Coast Guard Air Station at Daman. May his soul rest in peace," he added.
K.C. Pant, who was the son of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Govind Ballabh Pant, was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1962, and then in 1967, 1971 and 1989. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1978 and was leader of the house during 1979-1980
K.C. Pant was Union minister with cabinet rank holding the portfolios of Defence, Finance, Steel and Heavy Engineering, Home Affairs, Electronics, Atomic Energy and Science and Technology.
He was the first chairman of the Advisory Board on Energy. He was deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India from 2000 to 2004 during the premiership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. (ANI)