Vidya Charan Shukla cremated with full state honours in Raipur

Raipur, June 12 (ANI): The mortal remains of veteran Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla's, who breathed his last at the Medanta Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon yesterday, were consigned to flames at his farmhouse 'Radheshyam Bhawan' in Raipur this evening with full state honours.

The former Union Minister's Vinayak Pandey lit the funeral pyre as per tradition. Vinayak is the son of Shukla's elder daughter Pratibha Pandey.

Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt, Chief Minister Raman Singh, Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, Chhattisgarh state-in-charge B K Hariprasad, AICC treasurer Motilal Vora were present at the funeral.

The state's cabinet ministers, senior Congress leaders and other local leaders were also present at the funeral.

A large number of people gathered on both sides of the road to have a glimpse of the Congress veteran as his funeral procession is moving towards his farmhouse ' Radheshyam Bhawan'.

His funeral procession began from Congress Bhawan in Raipur around 2 p.m. and passed through Kotwali, Jaistambh Chowk, Ghadi Chowk, Telibandha before converging at his farm house on the city outskirts around 5 p.m. amidst tight security arrangements.

Shukla's body was flown in to Raipur from Delhi by a special plane last night.

Shukla, who had dominated the national political scene for nearly six decades, was critically injured in the May 25 audacious attack by the Maoists on a Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh's Bastar District.

Commercial establishments, schools across the city remained closed until Shukla's cremation in the evening while the state government had announced half day for government employees.

The state government has declared a half-day holiday for all government offices in the state capital in view of the funeral procession. The state government has also announced three-day official mourning.

Shukla was elected to Lok Sabha nine times, the first time as early as in 1957 from Mahasamund in undivided MP. In a long span of political career, he held many portfolios including Communications, Home, Defence, Finance, Planning, Information and Broadcasting, Civil Supplies, External Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources. (ANI)

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