PM, Sonia to Attend Deshmukh's Funeral

New Delhi
PM, Sonia to Attend Deshmukh's Funeral
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi will attend the funeral of Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh tomorrow.

Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Sushilkumar Shinde will also be present, sources said. AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi confirmed the visit of Gandhi.

The sources said that Singh will also visit Deshmukh's native place Babhalgaon in Maharashtra, where the cremation will take place.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister this evening passed a resolution condoling Deshmukh's death and hailing him as a "grassroots political leader" with extraordinary sensitivity to the people's needs.

"Deshmukh was a valued Member of the Union Cabinet. He handled his public responsibilities with tact, politeness and grace. He was held in very high esteem across the political spectrum. In his death, the country has lost a popular leader," the Cabinet resolution said.

It also placed on record the Cabinet's appreciation of Deshmukh's services to the nation and deep sense of grief and loss at his passing away and extended its sincere condolences to the members of his family.

The Cabinet decided that Deshmukh will be given state funeral.

"The Cabinet has learnt with profound sorrow about the passing away of Deshmukh, Union Cabinet Minister today at Chennai. The Cabinet condoles the untimely and sad demise of Deshmukh," the release said.

The resolution noted that during his long political career, Deshmukh worked in different capacities both in the state and the Centre.
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