Raipur, June 12 (ANI): The mortal remains of veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla will be consigned to flames at his farmhouse on the outskirts of Raipur this evening.
Shukla, 84, breathed his last at the Medanta Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon yesterday after battling the bullet injuries that he sustained in the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh last month.
State Governor Shekhar Dutt, Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh and many other leaders paid homage to him at the Swami Vivekanand Airport in Raipur.
His body will be kept at the Congress Bhawan this morning where people will be able to pay their tributes.
Later, it will be taken to his parental house at Budhapara, from where the funeral procession will start and final rites will be performed at his farm-house with full state honours.
The state government has announced a three day official mourning as a mark of respect to him.
Heavily-armed Maoists had on May 25 ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in the state's Bastar district, killing 28 people including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar and injuring 37 others.
Shukla was born on August 2, 1929 at Raipur. His father Pt. Ravishankar Shukla was a lawyer, freedom fighter, veteran Congressman, Premier of Central Provinces and Berar and the first Chief Minister of reorganised Madhya Pradesh.
For the general elections in 1957, the Congress Party chose him as their Lok Sabha candidate from Mahasamund constituency. He won with a thumping majority and entered the Parliament of India as one of the youngest Parliamentarians.
He returned elected to Lok Sabha nine times in subsequent elections. When Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister in 1966, she chose him as a Minister in her Cabinet.
In a long span of political career, he has held many portfolios including Communications, Home, Defence, Finance, Planning, Information and Broadcasting, Civil Supplies, External Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources. (ANI)