Expressing his profound grief over the demise of former president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said he was in true sense a ‘Bharat Ratna’, who was deeply committed to the development of the nation.
Kumar said that Dr. Kalam was a people’s President during his lifetime.
“A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was not only the President of the country, but also a mentor and guide..He had a vision for development of the country. The youth used to be highly impressed with him. Whenever he used to put forward his views before the students and youth, they used to be highly impressed with him,” Kumar told ANI here.
“He was in true sense a Bharat Ratna. I had a personal attachment with him, he came to Bihar on my invitation.He addressed the joint session of Bihar Assembly. I still remember his 10-point suggestion for development of Bihar,” he added.
Dr. Kalam passed away in Shillong yesterday evening. He was 83.
The government has announced a seven-day state mourning throughout the country as a mark of respect to the former president.
According to reports, all arrangements have been made at the technical area of the Palam Airport in Delhi to receive the mortal remains of the late president, which will arrive in a national flag-draped coffin on an Indian Air Force aircraft.
Kalam’s mortal remains will be later taken to 10, Rajaji Marg residence in the national capital at around 1.30 p.m. The public will be allowed to pay its last respects at 3 p.m., and later his body will be flown to his hometown Rameshwaram for final rites.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and a host of other dignitaries have condoled the death of Dr. Kalam.
Considered as most popular President, Dr. Kalam was the 11th head of the state and occupied the post between 2002 and 2007 during the NDA government headed Atal Bihari Vajpayee.