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Gujral cremated with state honours

NEW DELHI, Dec 1, 2012, DHNS: 1:12 IST
Former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral was cremated with full state honours on Saturday at the Smriti Sthal here.

His sons Naresh and Vishal performed the last rites in presence of other members of the family and President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President M Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Union ministers A K Antony, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Anand Sharma, Ashwani Kumar, Farooq Abdullah and Jaipal Reddy were also present, along with diplomats from various countries. Senior BJP leaders L K Advani and leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also attended the cremation. Gujral’s body, draped in the tri-colour, was brought to Smriti Sthal from his 5 Janpath residence in a flower-bedecked gun-carriage accompanied by military personnel and close family members.

Earlier, leaders cutting across party lines visited Gujarl’s residence to pay homage. Manmohan Singh and his wife, Gursharan Kaur, also visited his residence in the morning and paid floral tributes. “Our country has lost a freedom fighter, a great patriot and a great scholar statesman,” Singh said.

Remembering his “long relationship” with the former prime minister, Janata Dal(United) chief Sharad Yadav said: “We had fielded him from the Patliputra seat for the first time he contested the Lok Sabha elections. Then, we brought him to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar. He was balanced in his words, as well as in life. He always interpreted world affairs in the right way. I was the party president when he was the prime minister.”

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