Leaders of political parties, government and military officials and commoners paid tribute to the First Lady, Suvra Mukherjee, who died on Tuesday, even as Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in the capital on Wednesday to attend her funeral.
The mortal remains of the 74-year-old wife of President Pranab Mukherjee were taken to her parliamentarian son Abhijit Mukherjee's bungalow in Delhi on Tuesday evening so that people could pay their final tribute.
The Bangladesh premier, a close friend of Suvra, was received by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj when she arrived in Delhi on Wednesday morning. She later met Mukherjee and his daughter Sharmistha and offered her condolences. She also laid a wreath on the First Lady’s body.
Hasina will also hold talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi during her day-long visit. She was accompanied by foreign minister AH Mahmud Ali, her younger sister Sheikh Rehana and daughter Saima Wazed.
Before he moved to Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mukherjee and Suvra stayed at the bungalow at 13, Talkatora Road throughout his career as a cabinet minister even though he was entitled to larger accommodation.
The reason was that the Mukherjee family considered the bungalow auspicious because of its number. Mukherjee is the country's 13th president.
Vice president Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice HL Dattu and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were among the dignitaries who visited Rashtrapati Bhavan to pay their tributes to the First Lady.
The cremation will be held at the Lodhi Road crematorium on Wednesday.