"I had never thought that our bond would be snapped so soon. I had full faith in God," was how an inconsolable Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reacted to the untimely death of his wife Manju Sinha, whose mortal remains were consigned to flames at the Pahelwan ghat in Patna on Tuesday afternoon.
Kumar's wife, Manju Sinha, died at Max Hospital in New Delhi on Monday evening after illness. Her body was brought to the state capital on Tuesday morning by an Indian flight and kept at the CM's official residence, 1, Aney Marg for people to pay their last respect.
Tears rolled out of Nitish's eyes every time a visitor went to console him, who is otherwise known for his tough exterior. Governor RS Gavai joined family members, legislators, ministers, state government officials and general public in paying their last respect to the departed soul.
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad called up Nitish from New Delhi to console him on the sad demise of his wife.
His son, Nishant, was relatively calm and composed and kept standing near his mother's body. In between he also tried to console his father, whenever the latter broke down.
The funeral procession on a flower-bedecked vehicle started from 1, Aney Marg. The body was first taken to Kamala Nehru Girls' High School where Sinha was a teacher. Students and teachers of the school bid her a tearful farewell. After that, it was taken to Nitish's in-laws house at Kankarbagh.
Later, in the afternoon, the mortal remains of Sinha, were consigned to flames at Pahelwan Ghat, amidst chanting of Vedic mantras. Nishant, lit the funeral pyre. Nitish also stood by his side when the last rites were being performed. A host of dignitaries, including Governor RS Gavai, JD-U national president Sharad Yadav, minister of Nitish's cabinet, Union minister of state for food and civil supplies Akhilesh Singh, Assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary, Acting chairman of the Legislative Council Prof Arun Kumar and senior state officials placed wreaths on her body before the cremation. Thousands of people from all walks of life assembled on the banks of Ganga to pay their respect.
Earlier, Nitish his son, JD (U) president Sharad Yadav, former union ministers Digvijay Singh, Shahnawaz Hussain (MP), JD (U) MP Prabhunath Singh, party's state president Rajiv Ranjan Singh (MP), JD (U) spokesperson Shivanand Tiwary and several other leaders accompanied the body from New Delhi. They were received at the airport by former Union minister CP Thakur and other leaders.