Tuesday April 24, 2018
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Condolences pour-in as the nation mourns Kalam’s death

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday led the nation in paying respects to former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who rose from humble beginnings to become one of India’s leading scientists and later a hugely popular president.

Leaders from across the political spectrum, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, BJP president Amit Shah and Lok Janshakti Party president and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan paid their tributes to Kalam who was the president from 2002 to 2007.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh was among the first to pay his tributes.

Officials said a meeting of the union cabinet would be held on Tuesday to pay formal condolences to Kalam.

Leaders including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and former prime minister Manmohan Singh recalled their personal association with Kalam.

Kalam breathed his last at 7.45 p.m. at Bethany Hospital where he was rushed to from IIM-Shillong where he was delivering a lecture.

President Mukherjee said the death of Bharat Ratna Kalam was “a deep personal loss”.

He said Kalam was “a people’s president” during his lifetime and will remain so even after his death.

“As president of India, Dr. Kalam was immensely popular and greatly admired. His warmth, humility and simple ways endeared him to one and all. He had a special love for children and sought to constantly inspire the youth of our country through motivational speeches and personal interaction,” the president said.

He said Kalam will be long remembered for his passion for science and innovation and his contributions as an eminent scientist, administrator, educationist and writer.

“In his passing away, we have lost a great son of India who dedicated his entire life for the welfare of the motherland and its people,” he said.

In his message, Modi said: “India mourns the loss of a great scientist, a wonderful president and above all an inspiring individual.”

Modi said he learnt a lot from Kalam. “My mind is filled with so many memories, so many interactions with him. Always marvelled at his intellect, learnt so much from him.”

Modi said Kalam enjoyed being with people. “People and youngsters adored him. He loved students and spent his final moments among them.”

Sonia Gandhi said Kalam was “one of the greatest scientific minds and a scholar statesman” and one of India’s iconic leaders.

Manmohan Singh, who worked with Kalam as prime minister, said he greatly benefited from the advice of the late leader.

“In his death, our country has lost a great human being who made phenomenal contribution to the promotion of self-reliance in defence technologies. I worked very closely with Dr. Kalam as Prime Minister and I greatly benefited from his advice as President of our country.

“His life and work will be remembered for generations to come,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi said Kalam was a man of many parts — a scientist, an inventor, a visionary thinker and a teacher. “He will be missed dearly and remembered fondly by every Indian.”

Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani said Kalam “served Mother India literally until the last breath”.

Union ministers Najma Heptullah, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Nitin Gadkari, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, and Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were among leaders who paid their respects to Kalam.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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Waves of black as Modi visits Chennai

Tamil Nadu has been in turmoil since the six-week period for setting up the Board expired, with opposition parties and a host of fringe Tamil groups attacking the Centre

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi (FILE PHOTO)

Black flags and balloons and activists in black shirts and trousers greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he paid a whirlwind visit to Chennai with helicopter as the chosen mode of transport in the wake of statewide agitation demanding constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

Protests were also held with black flags and placards throughout Tamil Nadu in cities like Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Coimbatore and Tuticorin against the Prime Minister’s brief visit to the state and the Centre’s failure to constitute the CMB despite a Supreme Court order. Black flags were hoisted on homes and business establishments across the state.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Narendra Modi welcomed with black flags in chennai.

In a bid to avoid protesters, Modi, who arrived here by a special aircraft in the morning, chose a helicopter to reach Tiruvidanthai, in neighbouring Kanchipuram district where he opened the 10th DefExpo organised by the Defence Ministry. From there he took another chopper to come to IIT Madras, in the heart of the city. From there, he took a one-kilometre ride by car to the neighbouring Adyar Cancer Institute for an event.

The Prime Minister walked a few steps from the helicopter to the car that ferried him to the Cancer Institute. As he did so, he encountered some 30 students from IIT Madras who stood silently but held posters demanding a Cauvery Management Board as ordered by the Supreme Court — an issue which has whipped up emotions in Tamil Nadu. Modi then left by helicopter to the airport before returning to Delhi.

Also Read: Modi is anti-Dalit, will defeat BJP in 2019: Rahul Gandhi

#Go back Modi trended on top as netizens took to the cyberspace to register their protest against the Central government’s failure to set up the CMB as directed by the Supreme Court to ensure proper sharing of Cauvery waters between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and other states.

DMK leader M.K. Stalin, who was on a padayatra of the Cauvery delta areas, wore black shirt and trousers as he protested along with state Congress President Thirunavukkarasar and CPI-M state unit chief Mutharasan. “The Prime Minister may be flying in the air today but he has to come down when the elections come,” he said taking a dig at Modi.

A black flag was hoisted at DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s residence. The ailing leader wore a black shirt. DMK MP Tiruchi Siva and leaders of DMK allies wore black dress and marched on the road near the Chennai airport.

In the morning outside the Chennai airport, activists of the Federation for protection of Tamil Art and Culture, led by noted film director Bharatiraja and other film personalities like Amir, Gautaman and Vetrimaran protested against Modi’s visit. They were arrested.

will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons
Cauvery River Dispute is going on for a while now. Wikimedia Commons

While MDMK chief Vaiko held a black flag protest in Velachery, Naam Thamizhar Katch convenor Seeman, a film director, was arrested elsewhere. Vaiko called Modi a “coward” for choosing to fly. Political leaders Velmurugan and P. Nedumaran were arrested from Alandur metro station in Chennai for holding black flag protests.

Tamil Nadu has been in turmoil since the six-week period for setting up the Board expired, with opposition parties and a host of fringe Tamil groups attacking the Centre, saying the BJP was interested only in winning the Assembly elections in Karnataka. Even the hugely-popular IPL cricket matches have been shifted out of Chennai to Pune in view of the disturbances on Tuesday. IANS