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Tearful adieu to Pramod Mahajan

BJP leader was accorded a state funeral at Mumbai's Shivaji Park crematorium.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 15:00 IST

Amidst 21 gun salutes, the mortal remains of Pramod Mahajan wre consigned to flames at Mumbai's Shivaji Park crematorium with full state honours.

Wrapped in a tricolour and kept on a flower-bedded truck, the senior BJP leader's funeral was attended by hundreds of followers, friends, family members and party colleagues.

Several VVIPs, including Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha LK Advani were also present there.

Mumbai Police Commissioner AN Roy supervised the security arrangements at the crematorium.

Mourning for Pramod

• "The nation has lost a young political leader with potential" - President Kalam

• "Pramod was a gem of a person who always strove hard to help others" - Vice President Shekhawat

• "The country has lost a skilled organiser, a forceful orator and an aggressive representative of its youth" -  Former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee

• "I lost a close friend who always exuded warmth" - Home Minister Shivraj Patil

• "Pramod was an orator of repute, an outstanding parliamentarian and a man of qualities of head and heart" - Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav

• "Mahajan was a forward-looking leader who embodied the vibrancy of young India" - US Envoy David Mulford

Pramod Mahajan, a master strategist, fundraiser and election manager of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who was shot by his youngest brother 12 days ago, succumbed to his multiple bullet wounds on Wednesday, plunging the country's main opposition party into an unforeseen crisis.

The 56-year-old politician, a member of the BJP's 'Gen Next' and one who many thought had the potential to lead the party, died of complications developed in the last four days at the PD Hinduja Hospital where a team of surgeons battled to save him since the near fatal shooting on April 22.

That Saturday morning, Pravin Mahajan, 46, walked into the two-bedroom flat of his famous brother at Purna Godavari Apartments in south Mumbai's Worli area and pumped three bullets into Pramod Mahajan from close range from a .32 Belgian pistol in a fit of rage.

He later calmly told the police that he had shot the BJP general secretary to avenge his frequent humiliation. Police said Pravin failed to empty all the nine bullets because the fourth one got jammed - and thus Pramod Mahajan survived for 12 days.