World leaders are offering tributes following the death of former Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, who steered the country toward free-market reforms in 1991.
President Abdul Kalam says his country has lost a great leader. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who worked as Mr. Rao's finance minister, called his death a personal loss. In Washington, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli praised Mr. Rao for fostering closer relations with the United States after the Cold War. Mr. Rao took power after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, and he stayed on until 1996. He was elected to the Indian parliament in 1977 and held top foreign and defense portfolios from 1980 to 1989. Mr. Rao died on Thursday at the age of 83, after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago.