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BJP workers converge at Shivaji Park crematorium
May 04, 2006 11:37 IST
Scores of Bharatiya Janata Party workers converged at the Shivaji Park crematorium in Mumbai where the last rites of senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan will be performed on Thursday.
The entire area was being cleaned up and devotional songs were sung amidst tight security arrangements by the police as the funeral would be attended by several VVIPs, including Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha Lal Kishenchand Advani.
The last rites of Mahajan, who would be given a state funeral, will be performed at around noon by his son Rahul.
Mumbai Police Commissioner A N Roy supervised the security arrangements at the crematorium. A heavy security presence was seen with policemen keeping vigil in plainclothes and sniffer dogs pressed into service.
Traffic from Worli to Dadar has been diverted and the movement of vehicles along the Western Express Highway might also be affected. A heavy posse of policemen was posted along the route of the funeral procession from Worli to Dadar.
Meanwhile, family members, senior leaders cutting across party lines and people from all walks of life paid their respects to Mahajan at his Worli residence where the body was brought Thursday morning.
Advani and his family were among the first to pay tribute, followed by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief K S Sudarshan, BJP president Rajnath Singh, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and his son.
Mahajan's party colleagues, who paid homage, included Jaswant Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Sahib Singh Verma, besides VHP leader Praveen Togadia, Najma Heptullah, and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister for Communications Dayanidhi Maran, former Union minister George Fernandes, also paid their last respects.
Industrialists Anil Ambani, Naresh Goyal, media baron and Rajya Sabha member of Parliament Vijay Darda, Lok Sabha MP Haren Pathak, Bollywood personalities Hema Malini, Poonam Dhillon, Madhur Bhandarkar, Ashok Pandit, Janmorcha President Raj Babbar also paid homage to the departed leader.