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26 May 2019, 08:47 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • Dave's body brought to Bhopal, funeral tomorrow morning

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21:36 HRS IST

Bhopal, May 18 (PTI) The mortal remains of Union minister Anil Dave, who died in New Delhi today, were brought here this evening.

The last rites would be performed at 10 am tomorrow at Bandrabhan, on the banks of Narmada river in Hoshangabad district, "as per his will."

Dave's body was brought to Bhopal in an Indian Air Force plane and taken to the BJP state headquarters for the people and party workers to pay their last respects to the departed leader.

Dave passed away this morning at the AIIMS in the national capital, where he was admitted after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and several other party leaders and ministers received the body draped in a tricolour at the city airport. From there, it was taken in an open flower-bedecked truck to the state BJP headquarters.

At night, the body would be kept at his residence - Nadi Ka Ghar in Shivaji Nagar area, a family member said.

The final journey would begin tomorrow and culminate at Bandrabhan in Hoshangabad district, where the last rites would be performed at the banks of river Narmada as per his will.

Bandrabhan is around 50 kms from here.

The funeral will be performed with full state honours and state government has declared a half-day holiday in Hoshangabad district to enable people to pay their last respects to the departed leader.

Born on July 6, 1956 at Barnagar in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain district, Dave, a bachelor, used to live in 'Nadi Ka Ghar' whenever he was in Bhopal.

The house used to be his nerve centre for running the river conservation campaign as well as to formulate strategies for contesting elections.

A master strategist, Dave was credited with bringing the BJP to power in MP in 2003 by running a successful campaign against the then Congress Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh.

Dave's love for environment and water bodies is also reflected in his will that he left for those who wanted to cherish his memories, BJP's spokesman Rajnish Agrawal said.

"If you want to cherish my memories, plant trees and save them. This would give me pleasure," Dave stated in his will written on July 23, 2012.

"Maximum efforts should be made for the conservation of rivers and water bodies and by doing so, use of my name should be avoided," he said in the will.

He had also said that there should be no memorial or statue established in his name. It mentioned that no competition or award should be instituted in his name.

The will also specified the place where he desired his last rites to be performed.

"If possible, my cremation should be performed on the banks of river Narmada at Bandrabhan, where Nadi Mahotsav was organised," he had stated.

The leader used to organise the international river festival at Bandrabhan to create awareness among people about conserving rivers.

Dave had also expressed a wish that his last rites should be performed only through 'vaidik' rituals without any pomp.

State BJP's media in-charge Lokendra Parashar said that as per Dave's wish, his last rites will be performed at Bandrabhan, a place close to his heart on the banks of Narmada river in Hoshangabad district at 10 am tomorrow.

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