Kolkata, Aug 23 (IANS) Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday attended the West Bengal BJP’s ‘Asthi Kalash Yatra’ to immerse the ashes of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in south 24 Parganas district’s Gangasagar.
The ashes of Vajpayee reached Kolkata on Wednesday afternoon, to be immersed in various rivers across the state including Gangasagar, the confluence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal, on August 24.
The procession, known as the ‘Asthi Kalash Yatra’ (journey with the urn), commenced from the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters here on Thursday morning and is expected to reach Gangasagar by evening.
“We started our journey in the morning. Union Minister Smriti Irani ji attended the procession and came with us till Diamond Harbour. She has returned to Kolkata to take her flight back to Delhi,” BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha told IANS.
The procession with Vajpayee’s ashes is stopping at several places for the people to pay homage to the late BJP leader, he added.
State BJP President Dilip Ghosh had reached Kolkata with the ‘Asthi Kalash’ (urn) on Wednesday, after it was handed over to him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.
State Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha, and the party’s State General Secretary Sayantan Basu were present at the city airport.
The BJP has decided to take out ‘Asthi Kalash Yatras’ in all districts and disperse the ashes in rivers across the country.
In Bengal, the ritual will also be held in Murshidabad district’s Farakka, Hoogly’s Tribeni, Nadia’s Nabadwip and Siliguri in Darjeeling district later.