BANGALORE: A galaxy of senior leaders of different political affiliations, including the former Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and two Hindu mathadhipatis, on Monday, paid rich tributes to the former Railway Minister and senior Congress leader C.K. Jaffer Sharief for his contribution to the development of railway infrastructure and strengthening the secular fabric of society.
They were speaking at a function got up to mark the 75th birthday.
Mr. Shekhawat, who belongs to Rajasthan, showered praise on Mr. Sharief for providing connectivity from Jaipur to Kolkota, Mumbai and New Delhi. Mr. Shekhawat felicitated Mr. Sharief with a Mysore peta. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president R.V. Deshpande, B. Janardhan Poojary, Allum Veerabhadrappa and V.U. Kaujalagi, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly M. Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council V.S. Ugrappa, his predecessor H.K. Patil, the former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha K. Rahman Khan and Union Minister of State for Shipping and Highways K.H. Muniyappa, V.S. Krishna Iyer, K.H. Ranganath, D.B. Chandre Gowda and Rani Satish, former ministers, KPCC working president D.K. Shivakumar and Davangere MLA Shamanur Shivashankarappa attended.
S.N. Subba Rao of the Seva Dal and Patil Puttappa, former Chairman of the Kannada Watchdog Committee of the State Government, both childhood friends of Mr. Sharief, and Shivamurthy Sharanaru of Chitradurga Murugha Math and Nirmalananda Natha Swamiji of Adichunchanagiri Math spoke.
Actor and filmmaker Dwarkish spoke.
The Murugha Math swamiji said that Mr. Shareif belonged to the rare tribe of progressive politicians of clean mind and heart who tried to bring about socio-economic transformation in society.
Mr. Subba Rao rendered a patriotic song following a request by Mr. Sharief. Martin Luther King, Jr., was influenced by the song, he said.
Mr. Sharief thanked the Seva Dal, the Congress and the people for their support.
Haranahalli Ramaswamy, freedom fighter and former minister, welcomed the gathering.
H. Hanumanthappa, former MP and vice-president of the KPCC, was present.
Expressing his anguish over the increasing acts of terrorism, Mr. Sharief said he wished to see a resurgent India where the people lived in peace, amity and love and bring in all-round prosperity.
Venkateswar, Secretary, KPCC, read a felicitation. S.C. Somasekhar, president, Karnataka State Cooperative Housing Corporation, proposed a vote of thanks.