Rich tributes were paid to Girdhari Lal Dogra, former minister and member of Parliament on his 25th death anniversary on Tuesday. A grand function was organised by the family members of Girdhari Lal Dogra, which was attended by many state luminaries besides chief minister Omar Abdullah and leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Arun Jaitley who were present as chief guests.
While Omar recalled his forefathers' association with Dogra family in highlighting the issues of the state and providing them with basic amenities, Jaitley said Dogra's vision of 'service without self' was the mainstay of his rise to power in the state.
Later, Pradesh Congress Committee president and former union minister Saifuddin Soz, MP, paid rich tributes to Girdhari Lal Dogra. He flew from Delhi to attend the function in connection with death anniversary of Dogra.
Soz was accompanied by senior functionaries of PCC, including senior vice-president Dharam Pal Sharma, member of Parliament Madan Lal Sharma, minister for medical and technical education RS Chib, PCC vice-president Hari Singh, former minister Mula Ram, general secretary and chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, MLC; vice-chairman, Gujjar and Bakkerwal Board Bashir Ahmed Naaz, vice-chairman, OBC Board, Kuldip Raj Verma, former MLAs Ram Dass Dogra, Girdhari Lal Chalotra, Shiv Dev Sing and several other leaders of the party.
Paying floral tributes to Dogra, Soz described him as epitome of simplicity and dedication, who stood for secular values throughout his life. He served the people of the state for a long time in various capacities and always worked for poor and downtrodden sections of society.
Earlier, chief minister Omar Abdullah while paying tributes to late Girdhari Lal Dogra on his 25th death anniversary described him a real friend of people and man of high stature. The chief minister said rendering selfless service to people, especially those belonging to poor sections of society was hallmark of late Girdhari Lal Dogra's political life.
Omar said the contribution of Dogra Sahib in providing drinking water to people of kandi belt through tubewells was a path-breaking initiative and this system still holds key in meeting drinking water demands in these and other areas of Jammu.
The chief minister added that close ties between his and Girdhari Lal Dogra's families are since the time of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. "These got further strengthened with the passage of time," he said and recalled the association of the late leader with Sheikh Sahib and Farooq Abdullah.
Omar said holding the office of finance minister for about 27 years and getting repeatedly elected to the state assembly and Parliament denotes the popularity of late Girdhari Lal Dogra.
He said the best way of paying tributes to the late leader is to follow his style of providing service without self to the people.
Dogra was one of the tallest leaders of his time and was famous for his qualities of leadership and was dear to all classes of people. His contribution to society would always be remembered by generations to come.