Crying inconsolably and some beating their chests in grief, thousands of people, including women, paid their last respects to senior Congress leader and former minister P Janardhan Reddy, who died of cardiac arrest in Hyderabad on Friday.
The funeral procession, which began from his residence in Domalguda neighbourhood on Saturday morning, reached the party headquarters at Gandhi Bhavan, where party leaders and workers paid homage to the popular leader.
Shouting slogans of "PJR amar rahe" (Long live PJR), thousands of people joined the mammoth procession, bringing parts of the city to a grinding halt. The body wrapped in the party flag was kept on a bedecked vehicle with his family members sitting beside the body. People showered flower petals from rooftops as the funeral procession inched towards Gandhi Bhavan.
Reddy's only son walked ahead of the vehicle. The body will be later taken to Amberpet crematorium for last rites, which will be conducted with full state honours.
The state government has declared holiday for all government offices and educational institutions in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. For the second consecutive day, shops and business establishments remained closed in parts of the state capital as a mark of respect to the 'people's leader'.
PJR, as Janardhan Reddy was popularly known, died of cardiac arrest Friday while coming out after attending a party meeting. Five-time legislator from Khairatabad assembly constituency in the state capital, Reddy was popular among poor, labourers and backward classes.
PJR's followers, including women, were seen crying inconsolably. Some carried pictures of their beloved leader, and some thumped their chests in grief.
Earlier, All India Congress Committee general secretary and in-charge of party affairs in the state Veerappa Moily reached PJR's residence and offered his condolences to the family.
Former chief minister N Janardhan Reddy, assembly speaker KR Suresh Reddy, ministers, members of parliament and leaders of opposition parties also paid homage to PJR.