Mortal remains of Surjeet consigned to flames (Surjeet funeral-Update)

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New Delhi, August 3 : The mortal remains of veteran Marxist leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet were consigned to flames this evening at Nigambodh Ghat in New Delhi.

His pyre was lit by his elder son Paramjeet Singh.

A number of leaders were present on the occasion. They include Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Chief Chandrababu Naidu, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Chief Mayawati and a host of Left leaders.

The procession started from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) headquarters in Delhi and culminated at Nigambodh Ghat.

Earlier, Surjeet's body was brought to his Teen Murti lane residence this morning from AIIMS and was later taken to the party headquarters where a large number of people and politicians had a last glimpse of their leader.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, host of Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, former Chief Ministers and Governors and social activists irrespective of their political affiliations, came to pay their last respects to the Communist leader.

Lauding his contribution to coalition politics and his commitment to secularism they said his contribution to the nation will always be remembered.

Surjeet died on Friday at the age of 92 following prolonged illness.

He was admitted at the Metro Hospital in Noida where he was treated for respiratory problems. Earlier, he had slipped into coma.

The veteran CPI (M) leader was suffering from cardiac-respiratory problems.

With his health declining, Surjeet was, for the first time, not included in the CPI (M) Polit Bureau at the party's 19th congress in early April 2008. He was instead designated as Special Invitee to the Central Committee.

He was the General Secretary of the CPI (M) from 1992 to 2005 and was a member of the party's Polit Bureau from 1964 to 2008.

After retiring from his post as General Secretary, Surjeet continued to play an active role in politics.

ANI

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