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Nation bids adieu to Shekhawat

May 16, 2010 21:08 IST

Amid a sombre mood, the mortal remains of former vice-president and thrice Rajasthan chief minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat were consigned to flames with full state honours in Jaipur on Sunday.

As priests chanted vedic hymns, Shekhawat's grandsons -- Vikramaditya Singh and Abhimanyu Singh-- lit the funeral pyre at the Vidhyadhar cremation ground.

A police contingent reversed arms and later fired in the air as a mark of respect to the departed leader hailed as the doyen of Rajasthan politics.

A police band played soulful tunes as family members, relatives, friends, admirers and leaders across the political spectrum bade adieu to Shekhawat, affectionately called "Babo Sa".

Vice President Hamid Ansari, BJP leaders L K Advani, Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitley and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot were among a large number of dignitaries who attended the funeral.

Earlier, the body of Shekhawat, draped in a tricolour and kept in a flower-bedecked military truck, was taken in a procession to the cremation ground.

Hundreds of people lined on both sides of the roads to have a glimpse of their leader as the procession wound its way through the city.

The procession halted at the BJP headquarters where party leaders, including Chief Ministers Narendra Modi of Gujarat, Shivraj Singh Chouhan (MP) and Uttarakhand's Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, offered floral tributes.

Before Babo Sa's last journey began, mourners, who included former President A P J Abdul Kalam and Union Minister Sharad Pawar, visited Shekhawat's residence where his embalmed body was kept to pay their homage.

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