Gandhinagar, Jan 9 (IANS) The mortal remains of former Gujarat Chief Minister Madhavsinh Solanki, who passed away at the age of 93 on Saturday morning, will be brought to the Gujarat Congress headquarters in Ahmedabad on Sunday, where party workers, leaders and well-wishers could pay their last respect to the Congress veteran.
According to sources in the Gujarat Congress, the mortal remains of the former Chief Minister will be brought to the Congress headquarters at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan in Ahmedabad on Sunday from his residence in Gandhinagar.
According to Jayrajsinh Parmar, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) spokesperson, the mortal remains will be kept at the Bhavan between 3 pm and 5 pm when supporters and well-wishers could pay their final respect to the late Congress veteran.
Solanki breathed his last at his residence in Gandhinagar on Saturday morning.
Solanki was born on July 30, 1927 in Pilundra village in Borsad Tehsil in Anand district. He served as the Gujarat Chief Minister for three terms, from 1976 to 1990. He came out with an initiative called the Mid-day Meal, which has been replicated successfully across the nation and is still in practice today. He had also started the girl child nurturing scheme, ‘Kanya Kelavani’, in Gujarat. He also initiated the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) in the state.
Solanki was in the limelight for the apparent Kshatriya Harijan Aadivasi Muslim (KHAM) theory for appeasement politics.
He held an unbeaten record of winning 149 Assembly seats out of the total 183 seats under his leadership in the Gujarat state Assembly.
The 93-year-old started his career as a journalist, then as an advocate before entering politics. An avid reader, Solanki had built a library in his house where he used to spend hours in his later years.
The state government has declared Saturday as a day of state mourning following his death and has cancelled all government programmes for the day.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani offered his condolences and declared that Solanki’s last rites will be carried out with due political respect and honour.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “Shri Madhavsinh Solanki Ji was a formidable leader, playing a key role in Gujarat politics for decades. He will be remembered for his rich service to society. Saddened by his demise. Spoke to his son, Bharat Solanki Ji and expressed condolences. Om Shanti.”
Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendra Chudasama also offered his condolences and paid respect to the deceased at his residence on Saturday.
“Since the past 20 years, it is my habit to visit Solanki on his birthday at his residence and spend some time with the veteran congressmen. The last time I visited him was on November 15 last year and I congratulated him on his health, as he was descending from upstairs at his residence,” Chudasama told reporters.