CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is not attending the funeral of former President APJ Abdul Kalam scheduled to take place on Thursday at Rameswaram due to health reasons. However, she has deputed seven senior Ministers to pay respects to the mortal remains of Kalam on her behalf and on behalf of the State government.
“I have great respect for Dr Kalam. Indeed, I wish to take part in the funeral and pay homage. But due to health reasons, I am not in a position to travel,” the Chief Minister explained in a statement here.
Stating that she was extremely pained at the demise of Kalam, the Chief Minister said born in a most backward and poor family, Kalam rose to great heights by sheer hard work.
“Kalam had approached everything with a scientific frame of mind and all along his life, he had been an inspiration for the youth. Though Kalam had contributed a lot to missile programme of India and atomic projects, he took pride in designing FRO lightweight calipers for the disabled persons as his highest achievement. Kalam had lived up to his words: “Your birth may be incident but your death must be a history.”
Jayalalithaa said she had deputed senior Ministers O Panneerselvam, R Viswanathan, R Vaithilingam, K Palanisamy, P Palaniappan, S Sundarraj and RB Udhayakumar to attend the funeral and pay respects to the former President.
Besides, she has also ordered public holiday on July 30 as a mark of respect to Kalam. The Chief Minister also recalled that as per the wish of the family members of Kalam, funeral is taking place in Rameswaram and government land has been chosen for funeral.