The body of Union Minister Gopinath Munde was flown here from Mumbai enroute to his native place in Beed district of Marathwada for cremation later on Wednesday. The body was kept at the BJP office in Mumbai overnight after being flown from Delhi last evening.
The Indian Air Force aircraft carrying Munde’s body landed at Latur at around 10 am. Senior BJP leaders including Rajiv Pratap Rudy were present at the Latur airport to receive the body, which will be later flown to Munde’s native place Parli, 70 kms from here.
Thousands of Munde’s supporters gathered outside the Latur airport to have a last glimpse of their leader. In deference to the people’s wishes, the casket containing Munde’s body was kept on a raised platform outside the airport so that people could pay their last respects.
Munde’s wife Pradnya and daughter Pankaja were at the airport and were consoled by his followers. Leaders of other parties, including Congress’ Minister of State Amit Deshmukh and NCP’s Cabinet minister Jitendra Awhad, were present at Latur airport. The body will be kept for “antim darshan” (last respects) at the Vaidyanath sugar factory premises near Parli and the funeral will take place after 2 pm.
The 64-year-old BJP veteran is survived by wife and three daughters. Munde died following a road accident in Delhi yesterday, a week after taking over as Union Rural Development Minister in the Narendra Modi-cabinet.