Leaders from all parties pay homage to Mahajan
New Delhi, May 10 (UNI) Rueing falling standards in politics, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today said Pramod Mahajan epitomised idealism in politics and was one who kept values above issues.
Joining a host of leaders, across the political spectrum, in offering 'shraddhanjali'(homage) to the late BJP leader who passed away in Mumbai on May 3, Mr Vajpayee said following his ideals and values would be the real tribute.
President A P J Abdul Kalam, former Prime Minister V P Singh, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav also sent condolence messages and offered tribute to the 'Chanakya of coalition politics'.
Messages of condolences were also received by the BJP from the embassy of the US, Iran, Bhutan, Nepal and Asia Foundation.
Calling "Pramod bhai" a born fighter and a man of courage, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said it was sad that he had to participate in this function organised to pay homage to one of those persons whose absence was not only a loss to the BJP but also to the nation.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in her message read out by AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot, said his death was a shock to her and an irreparable loss to the BJP.
Former Prime Minister I K Gujral, while offering condolences to the family, said he had come to join them in this "hour of pain".
BJP leader L K Advani said Mr Mahajan embodied the qualities of a visionary and statesman. The passing away of a "political manager par excellence" has indeed created a void which was hard to fill.
Among others who offered tributes to the departed soul were Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma, NDA convenor George Fernandes, BJP president Rajnath Singh, RSS functionary Mohan Bhagwat, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh, JD (U) president Sharad Yadav, former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi (Shiv Sena), A B Bardhan (CPI), Tariq Anwar (NCP), Brij Kishore Tripathi (BJD), Rattan Singh Ajnan (Akali Dal), T R Baalu (DMK), Ram Das Athwale (Republican Party) and Sharad Joshi (Swatantra Bharat Party).
Others present on the occasion were Arun Jaitley, Vijay Goel, Gopinath Munde (all BJP), Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda, Digvijay Singh (JD-U), Union Ministers T R Baalu and Pawan Bansal, Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party) and Brij Kishore Tripathi (BJD).
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