RAIPUR, 12 JUNE: The mortal remains of former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla were today consigned to flames at his farmhouse ‘Radheshyam Bhawan’ here with full state honours. His grandson Vinayak Pandey lit the funeral pyre as per tradition. Vinayak is the son of Shukla’s elder daughter Pratibha Pandey.
Earlier, thousands thronged the streets of Raipur to witness the funeral procession of the veteran Congressman, who died at a Gurgaon hospital after battling bullet injuries sustained in the deadly Maoist attack on 25 May. He died following of multi-organ failure.
Mourners lined the route to catch a final glimpse of the 84-year-old leader as his body was taken from the Congress Bhavan to his Labhandhi village farmhouse in a truck bedecked with flowers. His funeral procession began from Congress Bhavan here at around 2 p.m. and passed through Kotwali, Jaistambh Chowk, Ghadi Chowk, Telibandha before converging at his farm house on the city outskirts at 5 p.m., amidst tight security arrangements. Governor Shekhar Dutt, CM Raman Singh, Union Minister of State for Home, RPN Singh, AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, AICC General Secretary and Chhattisgarh state-in-charge B K Hariprasad, AICC treasurer Motilal Vora, the state’s Cabinet Ministers and others were present. Last night, Shukla was flown in to Raipur from Delhi by a special plane. pti