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Hundreds bid tearful adieu to ‘Bunty Banna’

Hundreds bid tearful adieu to ‘Bunty Banna’

Udaipur : Hundreds of people from various walks of life attended the cremation of Vallabhnagar MLA Gajendra Singh Shaktawat (48) at Bhinder town in Udaipur district on Thursday afternoon. Shaktawat, fondly known as ‘Bunty Banna’ died after prolonged illness at a hospital in New Delhi on Wednesday. Shops and markets remained closed in Bhinder town as a mark of respect as people mourned for their leader who was quite popular among the mass.

Apart from eminent personalities, Cabinet minister PratapSingh Khachariyawas, Health Minister Raghu Sharma, former Deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, legislator Mahendrajit SIngh Malviya, former MP Raghuveer Singh Meena were among the top congress leaders who attended the ceremony. Bureaucrats including Udaipur collector ChetanRam Deora and senior officials of the administration too were present on the occasion. 

 The cremation was held as per the corona protocols , although Shaktawat had recovered from it. The family members donned PPE kits to perform the rituals. Shaktawat’s son Vindhyaraj Singh lit the pyre. His body was brought to his residence at Udaipur early morning and later the final procession was taken out for his ancestral home in Bhinder. The caravan grew longer as it passed through the main streets of Udaipur city to Bhinder via Dabok, Daroli, Bhatewar, Kharsan, Kheroda, Amarpura, Bansda.

Traffic moved at a snail pace and policemen had a tough time in clearing the path for the procession to move ahead. Many people showered flowers from the terraces of buildings while at many places the hearse paused when men came ahead to pay tributes. Shaktawat’s wife Preeti and daughters Hiteshi and Gauravi paid their respects and later others including senior congressmen, party workers and supporters gave floral tributes to him. 

Shaktawat is the third prominent leader from South Rajasthan to have died in the past three months after Rajsamand legislator Kiran Maheshwari death in November and former MP Mahaveer Bhagora who died on January 16 due to COVID. Shaktwat’s father GulabSingh, known as ‘Bapu’ of Mewar,  too had been quite popular and had been the Home Minister in the erstwhile congress govt during 1998-2003. Shaktawat was first elected to the state legislature in 2008. He lost his second election in 2013 and won again in 2018.