Saswat Singhdeo

Puri: The ashes of former Prime Minister Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee were immersed in the Bay of Bengal at Puri today. As part of the BJP’s ‘Asthi Kalash Yatra’ across the country, urn containing the ashes of Vajpayee (Asthi Kalash) were brought to Bhubaneswar yesterday.

The 'Asthi Kalash', was taken to Puri in a grand procession. Several leaders of BJP including union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Jual Oram, Odisha BJP chief Basant Panda among many others took part in the procession.

After the procession reached Puri, the urn was taken around the Srimandir and subsequently the ashes were immersed in Mahodadhi at around 5 PM.

"Yesterday our state president Basant Panda had brought the ashes of our former PM from Delhi. Today it was immersed in Puri," Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

"In his poems, Vajpayee had mentioned how one shouldn't get afraid of any situation in life and even in the time of death. We wish that the great leader takes birth in this holy land once again," Odisha BJP president Basant Panda said.

However, during the procession, there were reports of eggs being hurled near Chandanpur area of Puri. BJP leaders Bhrugu Buxipatra and Pravati Parida alleged involvement of a BJD supporter and filed a written complaint at Chandanpur Police Station.

Earlier in the day, former Kendrapara MP Baijayant 'Jay' Panda offered his last respects to the remains of Vajpayee at the Odisha BJP headquarters in Bhubaneswar.

"I was part of the NDA coordination committee for 7 years when I got the opportunity to work with Atal ji. His leadership quality was of extremely high," said Panda.

An all-party prayer meeting is also scheduled to be held tomorrow in memory of Vajpayee in Bhubaneswar.