Raipur, Jun 13: The mortal remains of former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla were on June 12 consigned to flames at his farmhouse 'Radheshyam Bhawan' here with full state honours.
His grandson Vinayak Pandey lit the funeral pyre as per tradition. Vinayak is the son of Shukla's elder daughter Pratibha Pandey.
Earlier, thousands of people thronged the streets of Raipur to
witness the funeral procession of the veteran Congressman, who died
at a Gurgaon hospital after battling bullet injuries sustained in a
deadly naxal attack on a convoy of party leaders on May 25. He died
following of multi-organ failure.
Mourners lined the route to catch a final glimpse of the 84-year-old leader as his body was taken from the Congress Bhawan to his Labhandhi village farmhouse in a truck bedecked with flowers.
His funeral procession began from Congress Bhawan here around 2 pm and passed through Kotwali, Jaistambh Chowk, Ghadi Chowk, Telibandha before converging at his farm house on the city outskirts around 5 pm, amidst tight security arrangements.
Governor Shekhar Dutt, Chief Minister Raman Singh, Union Minister of State for Home, RPN Singh, AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, AICC General Secretary and Chhattisgarh state-in-charge B K Hariprasad, AICC treasurer Motilal Vora, state's cabinet ministers and other senior leaders were present at the funeral. Shukla was flown in to Raipur from Delhi by a special plane on Tuesday.
Later, his body was kept at his parental house in Budhapara area. This morning, his body was taken to Congress Bhawan where people and partymen paid tributes.
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.
Shukla was elected to Lok Sabha nine times, the first time as early as in 1957 from Mahasamund in undivided MP. He later held key portfolios at the Centre, including Communications, Parliamentary Affairs, Water Resources and External Affairs.