Reds, saffron together pay homage to Mahajan
Rubbing shoulders with RSS General Secretary Mohan Bhagwat, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi were CPI General Secretary AB Bardhan and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.india Updated: May 10, 2006 22:46 IST
Communists shared dais with RSS and BJP top brass as leaders across the political spectrum on Wednesday paid homage to late leader Pramod Mahajan at a condolence meeting in New Delhi.
Rubbing shoulders with RSS General Secretary Mohan Bhagwat, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi were CPI General Secretary AB Bardhan and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.
The over two-hour meeting, which began with rendering of devotional songs by Pandit Jasraj, saw an emotional LK Advani breaking down while paying homage to Mahajan who was 21 years younger to him and RSS leader Bhagwat asking the saffron party to accept the loss and move forward.
Paying rich tributes, Chatterjee said Mahajan's death was "not only a loss for BJP but Indian politics."
Recalling his association with the 56-year old leader including when he was Parliamentary Affairs Minister, the Speaker said, "He was a man of courage and a born fighter. Not many Parliamentary Affairs Ministers have been so efficient. He used to give full opportunity to Opposition leaders. His death is a setback to national polity and development of Parliamentary traditions."
In his address, Bardhan said Mahajan's unique organisational skills not only benefited the BJP but many people in other parties too got inspired. "In the modern era, all parties require such activists. His death is a loss to entire Indian politics."
Mahajan's children Rahul and Poonam, former Prime Minister IK Gujral, Union Minister Anand Sharma, Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and PK Bansal were among those present on the occasion.