Amidst slogans of “Atalji Zindabad”, the West Bengal BJP unit today took out the “Asthi Kalash Yatra” with the ashes of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Union minister Smriti Irani, who was here to join the rally and offer floral tributes, said she was overwhelmed at the turnout of people, mostly women, along the roads, to pay respects to the former prime minister.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh and other state leaders of the party took out the rally which covered various parts of central and south Kolkata as it headed towards Gangasagar, where the ashes will be immersed.
The procession is likely to reach Gangasagar by this evening, a party leader said.
The ‘asthi kalash’ was brought to Kolkata by the state BJP president yesterday evening.
Gangasagar is an island off the coast of Bengal where the Ganga river meets the Bay of Bengal.
A part of the content from the main ‘kalash’ (urn) has been distributed in four other urns. The main urn will be immersed at Gangasagar and the four others will be taken to north Bengal, Farakka, Bankura and Nabadwip, Jaiprakash Majumdar, vice-president of West Bengal BJP unit told.
“The people of these areas too want to pay their respects to Vajpayee-ji so it will be taken there and immersed in rivers there,” Majumdar told.
That the people came out in large numbers for the “Asthi Kalash Yatra” today only goes on to show how much Vajpayee-ji was loved and reverred, said Irani, who was part of the rally till Diamond Harbour.
Expressing gratitude on behalf of BJP, Irani said “tributes were paid to the former PM just the way we pay our respects to the elders in our family.”
She exhorted the people to spread the ideals of the BJP patriarch in West Bengal.
The BJP central leadership has decided to take out ‘Asthi Kalash Yatras’ in all districts and immerse the ashes in rivers across the country. Processions will start from the state capitals and pass through all blocks, party leaders said.