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Posted at: Aug 26, 2019, 7:09 AM; last updated: Aug 26, 2019, 9:27 AM (IST)

Jaitley cremated with state honours

Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 25

Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was cremated with full state honours at Nigambodh Ghat here today as scores of dignitaries from various fields took part in his final journey.

Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and Nirmala Sitharaman and several NDA and Opposition leaders paid their last respects to Jaitley at the ghat before his mortal remains were consigned to flames.

Chief Ministers ML Khattar (Haryana), Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi), Devendra Fadnavis (Maharashtra), Vijay Rupani (Gujarat), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Raghubar Das (Jharkhand) and BS Yediyurappa (Karnataka) were among those present at the cremation ground.

In attendance at the funeral were hordes of friends and family members of the departed leader, many of whom got teary-eyed.


 

Unmindful of heavy rains, the people stood on their heels, cheek by jowl to have a last glimpse of the leader. While some were sheltered by the tents erected on the premises, leaders like Nitish Kumar, Piyush Goyal, Kailash Vijayvargia, Prakash Chandra Sarangi and Prakash Javadekar got drenched. A visibly emotional Naidu, who had worked closely with Jaitley in the BJP, stood with folded hands for several minutes near the body. Suffering from multiple ailments, Jaitley (66) passed away yesterday at AIIMS here where he was admitted on August 9. Rohan, Jaitley’s son, lit the pyre amid chanting of “shlokas” (verses) from Upanishads and Vedas. The final journey, which commenced from the BJP headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg where the body was kept for about three hours, traversed an 8-km stretch, taking over half-an-hour to reach the crematorium on a gun carriage spruced up with marigold and roses. The milling crowd showered rose petals on the carriage amid chants of “Jaitley ji amar rahein” (long live Jaitley) all along the route to the ghat. 

Recalling Jaitley’s association with Gujarat, Rupani said the BJP would seek his advice on strategy whenever there was an election in the state where the party is in power for two decades.

“He has been a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat. We have won several elections in the state by working on his strategy. We will always feel his absence,” Rupani told mediapersons.

TEARFUL ADIEU TO FORMER FINANCE MINISTER

  • Wrapped in Tricolour, Jaitley mortal remains were brought to BJP HQ at 11 am from his Kailash Colony residence amid chants of ‘Jaitley amar rahein’
  • The mortal remains were kept there for around 3 hours as a stream of mourners, from political leaders to schoolchildren, paid last respects
  • The hallway reverbrated with slogans of “Jab tak suraj chand rahega, Jaitley tera naam rahega”. The body was taken to Nigambodh Ghat on the banks of Yamuna on a gun carriage
  • Jaitley’s son performed the last rites
  • While Punjab has declared one-day mourning, Himachal Pradesh has declared mourning for two days

(With PTI inputs)

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