Patiala, July 30: The New Moti Bagh palace here reverberated with hymns and prayers this afternoon as thousands of people gathered to pray for the departed soul at the Bhog ceremony of Rajmata Mohinder Kaur, mother of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.

Several dignitaries, including former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Union Minister Vijay Sampla, SAD President and former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, were among those who joined Captain Amarinder and his family in offering the Antim Ardas to Rajmata Mohinder.

Other notable personalities who attended the ceremony included leader of opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira. Religious leaders, ministers of the Punjab cabinet, Congress MLAs and workers, senior administrative and police officials and ordinary citizens from all walks of life also participated in the ceremony to bid the final adieu to the Rajmata, mother of Captain Amarinder.

Religious leaders led the ceremony, marked by a kirtan, in memory of the Rajmata – an eminent personality in her own right, having been a former MP and an active philanthropist till virtually the last days of her life.

With the demise of the Rajmata, who passed away on Monday evening after prolonged illness, an era has come to an end, members of the erstwhile royal family of Patiala said at the ceremony. Recalling the work she had done for various sections of the society, family and friends of the Ramjata described her as an iconic personality whose contribution to the uplift of the underprivileged would always remain etched in memory.

Many recalled her immense contribution to the welfare of refugee girls following the tragic partition of the country, saying it was her charisma and humanitarian approach that had led then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to entrust her with this important and delicate task.

Azad, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, described the Rajmata as a multi-faceted personality, who led an active political life as a Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha member. Her exemplary contribution to the empowerment of women and in providing succour to the poverty-stricken sections of the society was a source of inspiration to leaders of the modern times, he said.

As a person who loved people, Rajmata gave more importance to public concerns than to material gains, said Azad, who also conveyed to Captain Amarinder and his family the condolences of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.

While paying tributes to Rajmata, Sukhbir Badal said she was a noble soul, and recalled her missionary zeal in serving every section of the society, especially the poorest of the poor, with firm commitment, devotion and dedication.

Khaira said the loss of a mother was an irreplaceable loss as no other human being could replace this relationship.

Union Minister of State and Punjab BJP chief, Vijay Sampla, while conveying the condolences of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah, said the Rajmata was a pious soul and a great social reformer, who was far ahead of her time. The lady invoked and inspired rich values in public life, he added.

SGPC chief Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar paid rich homage to the Rajmata, describing her as an ideal mother and a great personality who spend her entire life in the welfare of the people. He recalled her outstanding efforts to ensure the safe and secure rehabilitation of the families that migrated from Pakistan. Her personality, he said was a perfect blend of Rajmata and Lokmata and she was highly sensitive to the problems of the common man despite hailing from a royal family.

Besides Captain Amarinder, other family members present at the sombre occasion included his wife Preneet Kaur, brother Malvinder Singh and his wife Harpriya Kaur, Rajmata’s daughters Heminder Kaur, son-in-law Kunwar Natwar Singh, Rupinder Kumari and Major Kanwaljit Singh Dhillon, her brothers Gursharan Singh Jaijee and Inderjit Singh Jaijee, grandson Raninder Singh, Granddaughters Jai Inder Kaur grand son-in-law Gurpal Singh, Amaninder Kaur and Nirvan Singh and Ramneetinder Kaur and Vivaan Singh, besides Rajmata’s great grandchildren.

The grief stricken family members paid glowing tributes to Rajmata for her high ideals and noble values.

Expressing gratitude to the people for sharing their heartfelt condolences, Captain Amarinder describe Rajmata’s demise as not only a personal loss to the family but also to the region and its people, with whom his mother shared emotional ties, having played a pro-active role in the rehabilitation of the displaced families in post partition era. Her passion to impart quality education to children would always be remembered by one and all, he added. Rajmata Mohinder Kaur with her progressive outlook, was committed to women empowerment, besides helping the needy and poor with her philanthropic and social activities, said Captain Amarinder.

On the occasion, Kirtan Jathas led by Giani Gurpal Singh, Hazoori Ragi Gurdwara Sri Dukh Nivaran Sahib, Patiala, Bhai Kulwant Singh of Quila Mubarak, Bhai Lakhwinder Singh, Hazoori Ragi Sri Darbaar Sahib, Amritsar, regaled the people with soothing and soul stirring Gurbani-Kirtan, and Antim Ardas was performed by the Jathedar Takht Sri Patna Sahib Giani Iqbal Singh. Former Head Granthi of Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib Giani Partap Singh recited the Hukmnama.

Born in 1922 at Ludhiana during erstwhile undivided Punjab Mohinder Kaur, the wife of late Maharaja Patiala, Yadavindra Singh, left for heavenly abode on July 24, 2017 after prolonged illness.

Rajmata Mohinder Kaur served as Member of Rajya Sabha from 1964-67 and was subsequently elected to the Lok Sabha from Patiala Parliamentary constituency in 1967. She was highly revered and respected as a motherly figure by the people of Patiala till her last breath.

Speaker Punjab Vidhan  Sabha Rana KP Singh, PPCC President Sunil Jakhar, Chairman Punjab Mandi Board Lal Singh, Chairman Markfed Amarjit Singh Samra, Rajya Sabha member Shamsher Singh Dullo, Member Parliament Ravneet Singh Bittu and Chaudhary Santokh Singh, Punjab Cabinet Ministers including Brahm Mohindra, Manpreet Singh Badal, Rana Gurjit Singh, Tript Rajinder Bajwa, Charanjit Singh Channi, Razia Sultana, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Aruna Chaudhary, Senior Advisor to CM Major General (Retd.) Tejinder Singh Shergill, Advisor to CM BIS Chahal, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Union Minister Ambika Soni, besides Congress MLAs Randeep Singh Nabha, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Kuljit Singh Nagra, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Pargat Singh, Vijay Inder Singla, Avtar Singh Bawa Henry, Gurpreet Singh Kangar, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Hardyal Singh Kamboj, Madan Lal Jalalpur, Rajinder Singh, Rakesh Pandey, Davinder Singh Ghubaya, Surinder Dabur, OP Soni and several others participated in the antim ardas.

Senior Akali leaders Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Prof. Prem Singh Chandumajra, Sikander Singh Maluka, Ajit Singh Kohar, Surjit Singh Rakhra, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Bikram Singh Majithia, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Babu Parkash Chand Garg, Sant Balbir Singh Ghunas, Sher Singh Ghubaya, Amrik Singh Aliwal, Veteran Akali leader Kuldeep Singh Wadala and BJP leader Master Mohan Lal also attended the bhog and antim ardas of Rajmata.

SAD (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann, Iman Singh Mann, CPI leader Hardev Arshi, Apna Punjab Party Chief Sucha Singh Chottepur, Patiala MP Dr. Dharamvira Gandhi, AAP MLA Harwinder Singh Phoolka, TMC leader Jagmit Singh Brar, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, Inderjit Singh Zira, Ravi Inder Singh also joined the antim ardas. 

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