Leaders of various political parties as well as governors of a couple of states today remembered the contribution of former vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat to public life. Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore said the Rajasthan government should rechristen the Sanganer airport here after Shekhawat. "The Sanganer airport should be named after Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. I request (Rajasthan) Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot to pass a resolution in the state Assembly to that effect," he said on the occasion of the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Memorial Lecture delivered by President Pranab Mukherjee here. The event was organised by the family of Shekhawat. Besides Badnore, Raje and Gehlot, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, BJP MLA and Shekhawat's son-in-law Narpat Singh Rajvi shared the stage with the president. Badnore praised Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling on the occasion saying Sikkim had become the "organic state" and it had also done well on the law-and-order front. Chamling was conferred with the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Lifetime Achievement Honour in Public Service by President Pranab Mukherjee. Calling Mukherjee a "saint-like President", Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh said Shekhawat was also a saint-like figure who had many positive qualities. Raje said Shekhawat was a "visionary" who wanted Rajasthan to be a developed state. "Shekhawat always gave the credit for his success to the parliamentary democracy in the country, due to which he rose to the post of vice-president from a simple family. He had a friendly relation with all the political parties and had no enemy," she said while recalling her initial days in Rajasthan's politics and added that she learnt from the former vice-president. "He considered politics as a means to serve the people.
His aim was to serve up to the last man standing in a row. He launched schemes such as the Antyodaya Yojana which aimed at uplifting the poorest of the poor. Several of our schemes are based on the 'antyodaya' vision," said Raje. The opening address was delivered by Congress leader Gehlot who said Shekhawat was a "warm-hearted and fearless" leader, who was born in a simple family and rose to the post of vice-president. "He had a cordial relationship with various political parties. He was an expert in parliamentary works and used his good relations with everyone for the development of the state. He was against corruption and always took steps to curb it," he said. Gehlot added that the leaders of Rajasthan continued to maintain a cordial relationship with each other, despite "political differences", but the situation was "not the same between the Centre and the states". "When Bhairon Singh Shekhawat came to Jaipur for the first time as the vice-president, I had organised an event at the chief minister's residence to honour him," he said.
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