The mortal remains of Chhattisgarh’s first Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, who died on Friday following a cardiac arrest, were laid to rest on Saturday at a Christian cemetery in the state’s Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi (GPM) district with full state honours.
The interment was held around 8 pm in the graveyard at Jyotipur area in Gaurela town in the presence of his grieving family and senior leaders from both the ruling Congress and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a government official who witnessed it said.
A Bishop from Raipur and pastors led the prayer service at the graveyard following which the coffin was lowered into the grave.
Mourners led by Jogi’s wife Renu Jogi, an MLA, his son Amit Jogi, a former MLA, and daughter-in-law Richa Jogi and his elder brother SR Jogi bid a tearful farewell to him.
Chhattisgarh’s Excise Minister Kawasi Lakhma, Revenue Minister Jaisingh Agrawal, Food Minister Amarjeet Bhagat, Congress MLAs, Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik, senior BJP leader and former Minister Brijmohan Agrawal paid their last respects to the departed leader, who was an MLA at the time of his death.
Earlier in the day, Jogi’s body was taken in a van from his official residence in Raipur to Bilaspur, located around 125 km away from the capital.
Mourners had gathered at Simga, Nandghat, Sargaon and Bilha towns on the route to pay tribute to the 74-year-old leader.
In Bilaspur, the body of Jogi was kept in Marwahi Sadan where people, including leaders across the political divide, paid their tributes to man who rose from poverty to becoming the first Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh after it was carved out of Madhya Pradesh.
He was then a senior leader of the Congress but later set up his own regional outfit.
Later, his body was taken to Jogisaar, his native village, in neighbouring GPM district, where people thronged the streets for a last glimpse of the veteran politician.
Finally, the mortal remains were brought to Gaurela where a larger number of people had gathered. The body was then carried to the cemetery for burial.
Only close family members and some dignitaries entered the graveyard in view of the prohibitory protocols put in place to prevent spread of coronavirus.