Mahajan consigned to flames
Mumbai, May 4 (UNI) The mortal remains of BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan were cosigned to flames amid chanting of vedic mantras here this afternoon.
The pyre of the 56-year-old leader was lit by his only son Rahul.
He was seen consoling his married sister Poonam, who broke down as the flames went up in the sky amid slogans of ''Pramod Mahajan Amar Rahe'' by a large crowd of BJP workers and sympathisers at the Shivaji Park cremation ground.
Later, a contingent of state police fired three rounds of shots into the air to pay homage to the departed leader, who was given a state funeral.
Mahajan was the Defence Minister in the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
After the last post was sounded, a contingent of 16 cops reversed arms as a mark of respect to the departed leader.
Earlier, Mr Vajpayee, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Union Ministers Sharad Pawar, Murli Deora and Praful Patel, besides Chief Ministers of five BJP-ruled states and Mr Nitish Kumar of Bihar paid floral tributes to Mahajan, who died yesterday fighting gunshot injuries for 12 days.
Wreaths on behalf of President A P J Abdul Kalam were laid by Major General Vinod Chopra, while Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil represented Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
State Chief Secretary D K Shankaran laid wreath on behalf of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, while former Uttar Pradesh Governor Moti Lal Vora paid floral respects on behalf of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
NDA convenor George Fernandes had to be helped by former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh to enable him to pay his respects to the departed leader.
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