Nation pays homage to Govind Ballabh Pant
New Delhi, Sep 10 (UNI) President A P J Kalam today led the nation in paying homage to Bharat Ratna awardee Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, a charismatic leader who was at the core of the freedom struggle and acknowledged as an able administrator in the post-independence era.
On the occasion of his 119th birth anniversary, functions all over the country, including the capital, were organsied to commemorate him. People from all walks of life participated in these events.
The President described the late leader as an ardent freedom fighter, a patriot, a statesman and an eminent parliamentarian.
''His ideals are a source of inspiration for the younger generation,'' Dr Kalam said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Panditji, as he was popularly known, was the tallest leader of the freedom struggle and a builder of the modern India.
''He was acclaimed both for his administrative caliber and progressive vision. He championed numerous forward looking polices and programmes as a distinguished colleague of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,'' Dr Manmohan Singh added.
The Prime Minister said as a parliamentarian he left behind an enduring legacy of commitment to the people.
''A grateful nation recalls his steadfast stand in defence of the secular foundations of our Republic,'' he added.
Dr Manmohan Singh said Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant's conduct exemplified the highest standards of probity and integrity in public life.
In Delhi, a function was organsied at the statute of Pandit Pant at Rafi Marg, opposite to Parliament house. Among those who were present included leader of the Opposition L K Advani, JD (U) president Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi party leader Amar Singh. Some Members of Parliament, journalists, social workers and diplomats were also present in the function.
Among others, who garlanded the statute included Mr K C Pant, former Defence Minister and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman and Ms Ila Pant, former Member of Parliament.
Mr K C Pant, is the son of Govind Ballabh Pant , who held the cherished values of his father close to his heart and practiced these in public life.
Similar functions were also held all over Uttaranchal and several parts of Uttar Pradesh, including Allahabad.
In a communication, Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekahwat said, ''Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant was truly a multi-splendid personality who contributed significantly towards shaping the destiny of the nation. His qualities of head and heart shone through his long years of dedicated service to the people.'' Former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee noted that Panditji galvanized a large number of people in the country's struggle for freedom.
Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant was the first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Union Home Minister and Premier of United Provinces.
Others who sent in messages included former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar, CMI (M) stalwart Jyoti Basu, and Chief Ministers of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.
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