Bhopal: Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave's funeral was held on Friday on the banks of Narmada river in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh.
The funeral pyre was lit by his brother and nephew amid a tearful adieu by those present on the occasion at Bandrabhan.
Union Minister Uma Bharti, Union Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot, Bharatiya Janata Party national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan attended the last rites.
Anil Dave breathed his last in New Delhi on Thursday following a cardiac arrest.
In a will written on July 23, 2012, Dave stated that if possible, his last rites should be done in Bandrabhan on the Narmada river.
Bandrabhan is the spot where Dave used to conduct the International River Festival every two years.
The mortal remains of Union minister Anil Dave, who died in New Delhi yesterday, were brought to Bhopal last evening.
Dave's body was brought to Bhopal in an Indian Air Force plane and taken to the BJP state headquarters for the people and party workers to pay their last respects to the departed leader.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and several other party leaders and ministers received the body draped in a tricolour at the city airport. From there, it was taken in an open flower-bedecked truck to the state BJP headquarters.
At night, the body was kept at his residence - Nadi Ka Ghar in Shivaji Nagar area, a family member said.
The final journey began today and culminated at Bandrabhan in Hoshangabad district, where the last rites were performed at the banks of river Narmada as per his will. Bandrabhan is around 50 kms from here.
The funeral was performed with full state honours and state government had declared a half-day holiday in Hoshangabad district to enable people to pay their last respects to the departed leader.
Born on July 06, 1956 at Barnagar in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain district, Dave, a bachelor, used to live in 'Nadi Ka Ghar' whenever he was in Bhopal.
The house used to be his nerve centre for running the river conservation campaign as well as to formulate strategies for contesting elections.
A master strategist, Dave was credited with bringing the BJP to power in MP in 2003 by running a successful campaign against the then Congress chief minister Digvijaya Singh.
Dave's love for environment and water bodies is also reflected in his will that he left for those who wanted to cherish his memories, BJP's spokesman Rajnish Agrawal said.
"If you want to cherish my memories, plant trees and save them. This would give me pleasure," Dave stated in his will written on July 23, 2012.
"Maximum efforts should be made for the conservation of rivers and water bodies and by doing so, use of my name should be avoided," he said in the will.
He had also said that there should be no memorial or statue established in his name. It mentioned that no competition or award should be instituted in his name.
The will also specified the place where he desired his last rites to be performed.
"If possible, my cremation should be performed on the banks of river Narmada at Bandrabhan, where Nadi Mahotsav was organised," he had stated.
(With Agency inputs)