Hyderabad: Hailing former President APJ Abdul Kalam as a great statesman who always wanted to reach out to the people, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday urged that homage be paid to the departed soul in all government offices in the state.
Naidu spoke at a condolence meeting in the state secretariat here where a two-minute silence was observed in memory of the "people's President".
"Even in his last moments yesterday, he (Kalam) was doing what he always said and believed in, meeting youth and telling them to dream big and work hard to realise," Naidu said.
He said he considered it a privilege to have suggested Kalam's name for President (as a partner in ruling NDA) to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Recalling his association with Kalam, Naidu said the former President had appreciated the 'Vision-2020' for Andhra Pradesh prepared during his previous tenure as Chief Minister.
Setting aside protocol, Kalam had come to meet him when there was an attempt on his life near Tirupati in 2003, Naidu said.
Kalam had launched the 'Primary Sector Mission' of his government last year in Anantapur district, the Chief Minister recalled.
"Kalam said don't give holiday when I die. Work one more day additionally. This is the message given by Abdul Kalam. Singapore's architect Lee Kuan Yu, who passed away recently, also said not to declare holiday on his death," he said.
Kalam, the 'missile man' who became popular as 'People's President', died yesterday after he suffered a massive cardiac arrest and collapsed during his lecture at the IIM Shillong.
Naidu, the TDP President, directed that homage be paid to Kalam in party offices.