Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Uma Bharti today paid tribute to Anil Madhav Dave at Bandrabhan Ghat in Hoshangabad where the late Union Environment Minister’s last rites will be performed. The mortal remains of Dave, who passed away in New Delhi yesterday, were brought to Bhopal last evening. At night, the body was be kept at his residence – Nadi Ka Ghar in Shivaji Nagar area, a family member said.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.
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.
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Dave passed away yesterday at the AIIMS in the national capital, where he was admitted after suffering a cardiac arrest.
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.