Patwa cremated, Advani recalls time spent with him
Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Sunderlal Patwa (92), who passed away on Wednesday, was cremated with full state honours at his native Kukdeshwar village in MP on Thursday.
His nephew and state tourism minister Surendra Patwa lit the pyre.
BJP patriarch Lal Krishna Advani, current Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan , Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, Union minister Uma Bharti were among those who attended the funeral.
The late leader’s body was flown by special aircraft to Neemuch and kept at Patwa Academy for people to pay their respects. It was then carried in special vehicle from Neemuch to Kukadeshwar via Manasa.
People showered flowers as the cortege passed through streets.
Advani Recalls Association with Patwa, Vajpayee
Expressing his grief, Advani recalled his association with the former chief minister who began his political career with the RSS, BJP’s mentor, in the early 1940s.
Patwa was an active member of the Jana Sangh, a political party led by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani, which later merged with the Janata Party in 1977, but broke away in 1980 to form the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Advani also said that he had gone to greet Vajpayee this week.
”Though he recognised me, he couldn’t speak. Similar is condition of (former BJP leader and defence minister) George Fernandes,” he said.
“It is because of people like them (Patwa and Vajpayee) that BJP has become a prominent party. He made people raise slogans like Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai,” Advani noted.
Advani had to be stopped midway into his 22-minute speech by his personal secretary.
Patwa was Madhya Pradesh CM for less than a month in 1980 and for more than two years since March 1990. He was elected to Lok Sabha via by-poll in Chhindwara in 1997, defeating Congress strongman Kamal Nath in his home turf, but lost in 1998 general elections.
In 1999, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Hoshangabad constituency, and was minister in the Vajpayee government from 1999 to 2001.