Jaipur: Former Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who passed away at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital here on Saturday, will be cremated today with full state honours.
The national flag will be flown at half-mast in Jaipur today as a mark of respect to the departed dignitary.
A large number of dignitaries including Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari will attend the cremation.
Leaders across the political spectrum condoled the sad demise of Shekhawat on Saturday.
President Pratibha Devisingh Patil condoled the death of Shekhawat, saying the country had lost a great statesman and a man of political repute.
Vice President M. Hamid Ansari expressed his grief and said that Shekhawat had a glorious record of service to the country and the people in his many years in public life.
“He earned the respect and admiration of the people for his dedication, sense of public service and innate simplicity. His services to the country shall always be remembered,” he added.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh expressed his grief and said Shekhawatji was one of the tallest leaders that Rajasthan has produced. His life epitomized hard work and commitment to the public cause.
“His early years were difficult. Poverty forced him to quit school after which he found a job as a police constable. Indeed, it is a tribute to his leadership qualities that he overcame the disadvantages of his early life to carve out a sterling career in public service,” he added.
Dr Singh also said Shekhawatji excelled in all positions he held. As the Vice-President of our country he worked to uphold our Constitution and our secular ethos.
“The void that he had left behind will be very difficult to fill,” he added.
BJP senior leader LK Advani said the party had lost a great leader and an able administrator.
“He was an asset to the party who has always worked for the upliftment of the rural masses,” Advani added.
The Rajasthan state Cabinet on Saturday announced a state mourning for a period of three days.
Shekhawat was admitted to the ICU of the Sawai Man Singh Hospital on May 13 after he complained of uneasiness and breathing trouble.
Born on October 23, 1923, Shekhawat was the 11th Vice-President of India.
He served in that position from August 2002. He was elected for a five-year term by the electoral college following the death of Krishan Kant and resigned on July 21, 2007 after losing the presidential election to Pratibha Patil.
He served as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan thrice from 1977 to 1980, 1990 to 1992, and 1993 to 1998.