Veteran socialist leader and former Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav was cremated with full state honours on Saturday at his ancestral village in Madhya Pradesh's Narmadapuram district.
The mortal remains of former Union minister was consigned to flames by his son Shantanu Bundela and daughter Subhasini in his ancestral village Ankhmau at around 5 pm amidst the slogans of "Sharad Yadav Zindabad". Yadav died on Thursday at a private hospital in Gurugram at the age of 75.
A large number of people from the surrounding areas reached the village to pay tribute to the departed leader. Earlier in the day, Yadav's body reached Bhopal from Delhi in a chartered plane and was received by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, state BJP president VD Sharma, and others.
The mortal remains were taken to Ankhmau, some 100 km away from Bhopal, by road.
Digvijaya Singh accompanied the mortal remains to the village from the Bhopal airport.
Talking to reporters at the airport, chief minister Chouhan said Yadav used to be his neighbour as their villages are located on either side of the Narmada River.
"Yadav was the main pillar of the JP movement. He kept fighting against injustice since childhood and became involved in the national movement in his student life. He changed the direction of national politics," Chouhan said.
Union Minister Prahlad Patel told reporters Yadav has not only seen the splendour of student politics but has also raised the prestige of Jabalpur in party politics.
Yadav had won the Jabalpur Lok Sabha bypoll in 1974 by defeating his Congress rival.
"There might be ideological differences between us but our personal relationship was never affected," Patel said.
Besides Digvijaya Singh and Patel, veteran Congress leader and former MP Rameshwar Neekhra, ex-Union Minister Suresh Pachouri, Narmadapuram MP Rao Uday Pratap Singh and several other leaders were present at Ankhmau.
Former JD (U) Madhya Pradesh unit head and a close associate of Yadav, Govind Yadav, had earlier said Sharad Yadav's Lok Sabha byelection victory from Jabalpur in MP in 1974 as an Opposition candidate against the Congress catapulted him into national politics from being a student leader.
In his long political career, Sharad Yadav won the Lok Sabha election seven times and was a Rajya Sabha MP four times, he said.
Besides Jabalpur, Yadav also won Lok Sabha polls from Badaun in Uttar Pradesh and Madhepura in Bihar, which was a rare achievement for any politician, Govind Yadav added.
Yadav had handled Civil Aviation portfolio from October 1999 to August. He had also served as Union minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
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