Vajpayee's ashes dissolved in Beas river in Manali

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Manali : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and his cabinet colleagues on Sunday dispersed the ashes of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Beas river at a function here.

Earlier, a prayer meeting to pay tributes to him was held at a tourist resort where Vajpayee constructed his house.

Hundreds of people paid homage to their beloved leader, who died on August 16 in New Delhi.

Paying tributes, Thakur called Vajpayee a visionary leader who was above party politics. His demise was indeed a great loss to the nation in general and Himachal Pradesh in particular.

He said Vajpayee has a special place in his heart for the people of the state and the state would always miss his love and benevolence.

Vajpayee always considered Himachal Pradesh his second home and has a house at Prini (near here). Whenever he got time from his busy schedule, he visited Manali and wrote some unforgettable poems there, the Chief Minister said.

The idea to construct the Rohtang tunnel connecting the landlocked Lahaul valley with the rest of the world was conceived by Vajpayee in 1998 and the project was announced by him on June 3, 2000, he added.

Thakur said that this project was nearing completion and would be the biggest gift of Vajpayee to the state.

Forest Minister and local legislator Govind Thakur said Vajpayee had special love for the people of the state in general and Kullu-Manali in particular.

Member of Parliament Ram Swaroop Sharma described Vajpayee as a world leader with a poet from the heart.