Leaders across party lines bid farewell to George Fernandes

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Former prime minister Manmohan Singh with (R-L) BJP senior leader LK Advani, JDU leader KC Tyagi, SAD leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union leader Ram Vilas Paswan, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union Minister Harsh Vardhan pay their last respects to former defence minister George Fernandes at his cremation ceremony, at Lodhi road funeral ground in New Delhi, Thursday, Jan 31, 2019. (PTI)

Politicians cutting across party lines gathered at the Lodhi Road crematorium on Thursday for the funeral of George Fernandes, the 88-year-old firebrand socialist politician and the hero of the Emergency, who died on Tuesday.

When the Army vehicle with the former Union Minister’s casket was on way to the crematorium, his old socialist friend and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was the first political leader to reach the venue. He was followed by Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Harivansh Narayan Singh.

As the body of Fernandes was brought into the crematorium, Army band members played a funeral dirge. An officer from defence forces was the first to offer floral tributes to Fernandes on behalf of the President.

As the Army vehicle entered, a group of people raised slogans — “Fernandes amar rahe”, “Kranti Putra amar rahen”, “Samajwad zindabad” and “Vande Mataram”.

Former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, also…

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