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People’s President Kalam laid to rest

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Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu): Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was laid to rest on Thursday here with full military honors in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several other leaders.

Photo Credit: oneindia.com
Photo Credit: oneindia.com

The People’s President’s body, draped in the Indian tricolor was brought to the burial site at Pei Karumbu in a flower-bedecked gun carriage, escorted by columns of the three armed services.

A gun salute was accorded to the former supreme commander of the armed forces and a military band played the haunting Last Post.

Modi, who arrived here on Thursday morning, paid his last respects to the country’s youth icon and most popular president by laying a wreath.

Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah, union Ministers M. Venkaiah Naidu, Manohar Parrikar and Pon Radhakrishnan, Tamil Nadu ministers like O.Panneerselvam, Natham R. Viswanathan and others also paid their last respects to Kalam.

Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy were also present, as was Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders also paid their last respects to Kalam – also known as India’s Missile Man.

Earlier the mortal remains of Kalam were taken to the family mosque for prayers.

His family members also reached here.

“All our relatives have also arrived to attend the last rites,” A.P.J.M.K. Sheik Saleem, the former president’s brother’s grandson, said.

The Tamil Nadu government declared a public holiday on Thursday under the Negotiable Instruments Act. Banks, insurance companies, schools and colleges are closed throughout the state.

The government has also ordered closure of liquor shops and bars throughout the state.

Around 30,000 jewelry shops would also remain closed, while petrol bunks stopped sales for an hour between 10-11 a.m. as a mark of respect for Kalam.

Movie-theater owners too have decided to shut down for the day while fishermen have decided not to venture into the sea.

Political parties like the DMK and the AIADMK have cancelled their functions.

Interestingly, the decision of private sector organisations to voluntarily shut shows that Kalam was truly a People’s President.

Born in Rameswaram on October 15, 1931, Kalam, as a boy, hawked newspapers to supplement his family’s income. His father owned a boat and his mother constantly struggled to keep the family sufficiently fed and clothed.

His sister pawned jewellery with a moneylender so that the studious Kalam could carry Rs.600 when he left Rameswaram to join the Madras Institute of Technology.

(IANS)

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Shiv Sena Declares Rahul Gandhi a Threat For BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

It went on to add that ditto was the scenario with the post of President, since many had hoped that Advani at least would be catapulted to the Rashtrapati Bhavan in June 2017.

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Rahul Gandhi, Wikipedia

A day after asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to refrain from “ridiculing” Rahul Gandhi for declaring his ambition to become Prime Minister, the Shiv Sena on Friday showered praises on the Congress chief, saying “he poses a challenge to the BJP” in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“This is not the Rahul Gandhi of 2014. He is a changed person now. He has weathered abuse and criticism to emerge intellectually strong.

“He can throw up a serious challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019,” the Sena cautioned in an editorial in the party mouthpieces “Saamana” and “Dopahar Ka Saamana”.

Asserting that “Gandhi has acquired political strength and clout”, the ruling BJP ally pointed out that this was effectively demonstrated in the December 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls.

“The BJP leaders mock him in vulgar language, but Rahul Gandhi has always maintained Modi’s dignity as Prime Minister and never stooped low to criticise him ever.

“This proves that Rahul Gandhi possesses political intellect and culture, which even his opponents would concede,” the Sena added.

However, the Sena wondered why the BJP was running “so scared and indulging in chest-beating” over Gandhi’s desire to become the Prime Minister should his party won.

“Today, the BJP wants to know how — with a queue of Prime Minister aspirants among the opposition parties — could Gandhi declare himself as a contender for the top post?

"He can throw up a serious challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019," the Sena cautioned in an editorial in the party mouthpieces "Saamana" and "Dopahar Ka Saamana".
Shiv Sena supports Rahul’s ambition to become PM, IANS

“This question should be replied to by the BJP’s senior leaders like L.K. Advani or Murli Manohar Joshi and others,” the Sena said in a veiled reference to the side-lining of the party’s senior leaders under the current dispensation.

It went on to add that ditto was the scenario with the post of President, since many had hoped that Advani at least would be catapulted to the Rashtrapati Bhavan in June 2017.

But finally, Modi and BJP President Amit Shah had their way and they went ahead with their choice without consulting any of the allies and friendly parties, it said, adding how it had proposed the name of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for President.

“So, why is the BJP now demanding that Congress should consult its (UPA) allies before declaring the candidate for the Prime Minister’s post? Let the people of the country decide whether Gandhi is good for them or not,” the Sena said.

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The Sena advised the BJP that instead of ridiculing Gandhi, “the BJP should have welcomed his statement and countered it by throwing a challenge to the Congress that it would defeat him in the 2019 battle”.

The Sena reiterated the shabby treatment meted out by the BJP to its allies, and although it came to power with their support, the allies were rewarded “with back-stabbing, damage and destruction”.

“The people will be the final judge whether Gandhi will become the Prime Minister or be dumped. Even Modi was very nice before the (2014) elections. But later on, peoples’ pain and problems continue… The masses are reeling under it like a donkey carrying a heavy load… The only difference is, after each election, the donkey’s master changes,” the Sena concluded. (IANS)