Former Gujarat Chief Minister and veteran BJP leader Keshubhai Patel was cremated at Gandhinagar with full state honours on Thursday.
He was given a Guard of Honour before being cremated at the crematorium in Sector 30 of Gandhinagar.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, BJP Gujarat president CR Patil and several other top Congress leaders and industrialists of Gujarat, as well as several other Central and state leaders, were present to bid farewell to Keshubhai Patel.
The government had earlier announced a one-day state mourning for Keshubhai Patel and the BJP had also cancelled all its election campaign for the day for the bypolls. Visavadar has announced a bandh in honour of its former MLA.
The life and times of Keshubhai Patel
Born in 1948, Keshubhai had joined the RSS and began his political career with the Jan Sangh, the former avatar of the BJP. He was elected to the Gujarat assembly six times.
He was also a Rajya Sabha MP, and also held several other portfolios as the minister including the post of Leader of the Opposition.
He was elected Chief Minister in 1995 but resigned after a coup by Shankersinh Vaghela. In 1998 he was again re-elected as the chief minister.
His term was marked by drought and the devastating earthquake of 2001 which he was accused of poor handling. He resigned as chief minister in 2001 after the BJP performed poorly in the local body elections.
In the 2012 assembly elections, he formed the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP). GPP won only two seats. He resigned in 2014 ahead of the Loksabha elections citing poor health and merged his party with the BJP.
He was not active in politics since then but remained an active chairman of the Somnath Temple Board. During his term as the chief minister, he ensured the construction of a canal network that brought water to the parched regions of Saurashtra and North Gujarat.
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