NEW DELHI / JAIPUR: The body of Rajasthan Governor S. K. Singh, who died at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi on Tuesday, was cremated with full State honours at the Lodhi Road crematorium in the national Capital on Wednesday. A battery of national and State leaders paid their tributes to the former diplomat who was also the country’s longest serving envoy to Pakistan.
President Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherji and Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna were among those who paid floral tributes to Mr. Singh at his residence at New Friends Colony in Delhi.
Mr. Singh, 77, who died after a brief illness with which he was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit on November 5, was the Governor of Rajasthan since August 2007. He also served as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh for three years before his gubernatorial assignment here.
The Rajasthan Government has declared seven-day mourning from Tuesday as a mark of respect to the late Governor.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Union Ministers C. P. Joshi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mukul Vasnik, Murli Deora, Mahavir Singh Khandela, Namonarain Meena, Ambika Soni, Sachin Pilot and Jitin Prasada and leaders of various political parties attended the cremation.
Also present on the occasion were Governors Gopal Krishna Gandhi of West Bengal, B. L. Joshi of Uttar Pradesh and Jagannath Pahadia of Haryana, Chief Ministers Ashok Gehlot of Rajasthan and Sheila Dikshit of Delhi, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur.
Rajasthan Medical and Health Minister Aimaduddin Ahmed Khan, Chief Secretary T. Srinivasan, Principal Home Secretary Pradeep Sen, Additional Chief Secretary to Governor Meenakshi Hooja and Principal Resident Commissioner in Delhi P.K. Anand represented the State Government at the cremation.
According to an official release here, a prayer meeting will be organised at Chinmaya Mission on Lodhi Road in Delhi on Friday evening to pay homage to Mr. Singh.
Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Governor Prabha Rao has been given the additional charge of Rajasthan following the death of Mr. Singh. She will look after the gubernatorial responsibilities here until new arrangements are made.
Ms. Rao will be sworn in as the acting Governor at Raj Bhavan here on Thursday.