New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) Several top political leaders in the Capital today made a beeline for 11 Ashoka Road, the BJP Headquarters to pay their last respects to Pramod Mahajan, the nation's best known crisis manager and an organiser par excellence.
Soon after the news of Mr Mahajan's death spread, the BJP Head Quarter started receiving a stream of visitors not just belonging to the BJP but from across the political spectrum. With the descending of TV cameramen and crew soon, there was traffic jam outside the party office.
The party hurriedly organised the garlanded portrait of Mr Mahajan in the media room for enabling the partymen and leaders from other political parties to pay their respects to the departed leader.
There were a host of leaders ranging from former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to veteran Gandhian and Rajya Sabha MP Nirmala Deshpande. Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit, Delhi Congress Chief Ram Babu Sharma, former Union Minister and Congress MP Jagdish Tytler, Socialist Party veteran S P Mittal and JD (U) leader K C Tyagi.
BJP Parliamentary Party spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra, Delhi BJP Chief Dr Harsh Vardhan, veteran BJP leader Kedar Nath Sahni suprevised the arrangements.
There was hardly any dispute about Mr Mahajan's ability as a crisis man of the BJP and the NDA Government with CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat writing a letter to BJP President Rajnath Singh that he was saddened by the untimely death of a political leader with potential and promise. Mrs Dixit said his death was not just a loss for the BJP but for the country.
Mr Vajpayee regretted that the cruel time had snatched away Mr Mahajan even before the youthfulness had fully bloomed. He was a powerful orator, outstanding representative and a deft organiser and had executed all the responsibilities entrusted to him to the satisfaction of all. "His deft handling was not just useful for the BJP but for various nation building activities", he lamented.
Mr Malhotra said Mr Mahajan was a strong pillar for the party and his death reminded him of untimely deaths of Jan Sangh founder Shayama Prasad Mukherjee and ideaolgue Deen Dayal Upadhyay who too had died under tragic circumstances. Former BJP President Bangaru Laxaman commended Mr Mahajan's role in bringing the BJP to the centre stage of national politics.
Media too will be missing Mr Mahajan for he was a prime source of inside information for quite a long time whether it concerned the party affairs or about the NDA government. He was easily regarded as the media face of the BJP and the Government.
The Mumbai National Executive and Plenary Session held in December 2005 was his last big show.
For the first time he ensured that the print medium was provided with internet facility on their desk top and report the event on e-mail because this was the only way the print journalists could cover the event live without moving to the media centre.
Addressing the public rallies along the Pune-Sholapur National Highway with senior BJP leader L K Advani was probably his last major party assignment.
When he heard of the death of noted Kannada cine star Rajkumar, his first instruction to Karnataka BJP was to "see that there is only one funeral", but unfortunately there were eight deaths in Bangalore in the next couple of days. "It is ironic that Mr Mahajan's younger brother ensured that that there was just one funeral by owning up the killing", a left party leader from Karnataka remarked.
UNI MCN RP PC2003