Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today paid rich tributes to former President Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma by describing him as a great scholar, able administrator and a marvelous personality.
The Chief Minister said Dr. Sharma was a front-ranking freedom fighter who had played a key role – first in the merger of the princely state of Bhopal into the Union of India in 1949 and then in making Bhopal the capital of the reorganised state of Madhya Pradesh in 1956. Dr. Sharma’s role in the development and welfare of the country will always be remembered.
Chief Minister Chauhan was addressing a special function organised near the Upper Lake on Indepedence Day for the unveiling ceremony of the statue of Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma.
Former Union Minister Suresh Pachauri, Member of Parliament Alok Sanjar, city Mayor Alok Sharma, MLA Surendranath Singh, P.C. Sharma, the former President’s son Ashutosh Dayal Sharma, daughter Ms. Jaishri Sharma and his other family members were present.
Chauhan recalled how Dr. Sharma had opened the doors of Rashtrapati Bhawan and was easily accessible to the MPs. He was the pride not only of Bhopal but the whole country and and we will try to follow on his footsteps, the Chief Minister said. Stating that Dr. Sharma had set the highest standards of office, Chouhan recounted how as President, he had invited Atal Bihari Vajpayee to form the government when the BJP became the largest party in Lok Sabha but was still short of a majority.
Former Union Minister Suresh Pachauri said that Dr. Sharma played an important role in developing Bhopal as an education hub in his capacity as state education minister after the formation of Madhya Pradesh. The National Judicial Academy in Bhopal is also the result of his vision. His entire life should serve as a beacon and inspiration for future generations, Pachouri said adding, Dr. Sharma will always be remembered for upholding the highest principles of democracy and the dignity of every high office he held.