New Delhi, July 6: Rich tributes were paid to Bharatiya Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee on his birth anniversary today with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan leading the commemorations.
The Prime Minister attended a function in Parliament and paid floral tributes to the leader. "I bow to the great Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee on his birth anniversary," he said on twitter.
"He is remembered as a great leader with an invaluable contribution to the nation. He always emphasised on education among the youth.
"He was a statesman, way ahead of his time and a profound thinker whose thoughts have been widely appreciated." The Lok Sabha Speaker also paid floral tributes to Mookerjee at a ceremony for which a number of Union Ministers, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, were present.
Meanwhile, BJP President Amit Shah also paid tributes to Mookerjee at a function at the party headquarters attended by a number of other party leaders.
"Tributes to respected Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who sacrificed his life for the unity and integrity of the country," Shah said.
At a separate function organised by Delhi BJP, party general secretary Ram Madhav remembered the late leader. Madhav exhorted the party cadre to follow Mookerjee's teachings, saying his life and works would continue to be an inspiration for all nationalists and political workers of the country for ages to come.
Despite the rain that hit the city today, several Delhi BJP leaders, including its local unit chief Satish Upadhyay and party MPs Vijay Goel and Ramesh Bidhuri offered floral tributes at the leader's statue. Born on July 6, 1901, Mookerjee became a fellow of the Senate in 1923.
He became the world's youngest Vice-Chancellor at Calcutta University and held the office till 1938. Jawaharlal Nehru inducted him in the Interim Government as Minister for Industry and Supply, but Mookerjee later resigned.
After consultation with MS Golwalkar of RSS, Mookerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh on October 21, 1951, at Delhi, becoming its first President.
He strove for the cause of Jammu and Kashmir's integration with the rest of India and launched a satyagraha under Jana Sangh along with Hindu Mahasabha and Ram Rajya Parishad for removal of pernicious provisions related to Article 370.
He went to Kashmir in 1953 and was arrested while crossing into the state, breaching the infamous Permit System. He died while under arrest on June 23, 1953.