Shyamal Brahma, a businessman in Raiganj in North Dinajpur district, could very well be called the most ardent follower of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, who passed away in Delhi yesterday.

Since 2009, Mr Brahma, who had good relations with Mukherjee, has been worshipping a pair of slippers worn by the former President, which he has kept inside a glass case.

“He worships the slippers every morning before he begins his day’s work. Champak Brahma, Mr Bramma’s son has reached Delhi where he attended the funeral ceremony for the departed soul,” family sources said.

It is learnt that Mr Brahma is an LPG dealer, who also owns a school, which was inaugurated by Mukherjee, and a BEd college in Itahar in the district.

“I was with the Congress party earlier, and I had good relat ions wi th Pranab Mukherjee since then. He has visited my house in Raiganj on four different occasions earlier. His simplicity, knowledge and great behaviour with others was what drew me closer to him. I consider him as my father. Every year, I along with my family, used to visit his house at Merati in Birbhum during Durga Puja. Pranabda used to wear white sandals and slippers. Once in 2009, during Durga Puja, I along with my wife Shipra, visited Pranabda. We searched in Raiganj for a white pair of sandals, but could not find them.

“So we purchased a pair of black sandals and presented it to Pranabda. In exchange for this, I asked for a pair of white slippers he used. He immediately wore my black sandals and handed me his used white slippers. Since then, I have kept them in the glass case and I worship them till date, because he is an idol to me,” Mr Brahma said.

“My son Champak reached Delhi and attended his funeral too. I am greatly shocked with the news of his demise,” he added.