Sankaranarayanan, Chavan pay tribute to Shekhawat (Lead)

May 16th, 2010 - 12:10 am ICT by IANS  

Sushil Kumar Mumbai, May 15 (IANS) Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan and Chief Minister Ashok Chavan paid glowing tributes to former vice president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who died in Jaipur Saturday.
“Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was a pragmatic leader with an enviable popularity. A man without enemies, Shekhawat had friends across the entire political spectrum,” Sankaranarayanan said.

As chief minister of Rajasthan for three terms, he had introduced many welfare schemes for the people. His innovative ‘Antyodaya scheme’ - aimed at helping the poorest of the poor - earned him admiration from various quarters, he added.

As the chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shekhawat conducted the business of the upper house with remarkable dignity and decorum, Sankaranarayan said.

In his condolence message, Chavan, said that Shekhawat was also concerned for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden all through his political career at the state and the centre.

Lauding Shekhawat as “a visionary,” Chavan said that it was because of his long-term thinking of exploiting developing the heritage sites that catapulted Rajasthan into one of the foremost tourist destinations in the country.

Other political leaders from the state also paid tributes to Shekhawat.

Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, terming Shekhawat “a great parliamentarian and a visionary”, said that he always had the cause of the poor and downtrodden close to his heart and worked for their uplift.

Describing Shekhawat as a kind-hearted gentleman politician with deep knowledge of grassroots politics, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said “we have lost a fatherly figure”.

Deputy Chief Minsiter Chhagan Bhujbal said that the country has lost a very popular leader and a statesman who left an indelible mark as the country’s vice president.

Leader of Opposition in the assembly Eknath Khadse said that the country has lost “a great visionary renowned for his organisational skills and discipline.”

“We have lost a great leader who always struggled for the rights of the common man,” he said.

Bharatiya Janata Party state unit chief Sudhir Mungantiwar said Shekhawat was one of the pioneers of the Jan Sangh movement and a great pillar of the BJP. “The void left by him will be difficult to fill.”

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