Ex-Gujarat CM Madhavsinh Solanki cremated

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Ahmedabad, Jan 10 (PTI) Former Union minister and Congress veteran Madhavsinh Solanki, who had served as chief minister of Gujarat on four occasions, was on Sunday cremated with full state honours in Ahmedabad.

Solanki (93), a former external affairs minister, died on Saturday at his residence in Gandhinagar.

His son Bharatsinh Solanki, a former Union minister, performed the rituals at a crematorium here after Solanki senior's mortal remains, wrapped in the Tricolour, were brought in a procession from Rajiv Bhavan, the headquarters of the state unit of the Congress.

Among the several hundred people who joined the procession were Congress' Gujarat in charge Rajeev Satav, state unit party president Amit Chavda and Leader of the Opposition in Assembly Paresh Dhanani.

Bharatsinh Solanki, who returned from the US on Sunday to perform the last rites, said his father was a 'friend, philosopher and guide'.

'Wherever I am today is because of my father. He was my friend, philosopher and guide, always standing by my side like a rock. Gujarat knows him very well. In the six decades of his public life, he served the people,' said Bharatsinh, a former president of the Congress in Gujarat.

He said that the people of Gujarat had witnessed a 'golden period' when his father, as a CM, implemented a slew of measures ranging from the mid-day meal scheme in schools to Kanya Kelavni (free education for girls in Gujarat), to taking the state's GDP to over 32 per cent, making it the highest in the country.

'My father as a CM also ensured the state attains top position industrially. He managed to get environmental clearance for the Narmada Dam project, brought the Planning Commission to the taluka level and also led the party to a record 149-seat win in the Assembly elections (in 1985),' Bharatsinh added. PTI KA BNM NSK NSK