New Delhi: Offices of the Government of India will remain open during the seven-day mourning period set out for former president Dr APJAbdul Kalam, who passed away in Shillong, Meghalaya, on Monday evening following a cardiac arrest.
The statement said the offices of the government would remain open as a mark of respect for the late president. It also said that Dr Kalam would have wanted all government offices to function as normal.
According to reports, the parliamentary party of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) met here this morning and observed two minutes of silence as a mark of respect to the former president.
This was confirmed to ANI by BJP leader and union cabinet minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
According to reports, all arrangements have been made at the technical area of the Palam Airport in Delhi to receive the mortal remains of the late president, which will arrive in a national flag-draped coffin on an Indian Air Force aircraft. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is already at the airport along with senior officers of the armed forces.
Kalam's mortal remains will be taken to 10, Rajaji Marg residence in the national capital at around 1.30 p.m. The public will be allowed to pay its last respects at 3 p.m., and later his body will be flown to his hometwon Rameshwaram for final rites.
An official statement said New Delhi that during the period of the mourning, the national flag will fly at half-mast on all the buildings throughout the country where it is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment.
President Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and a host of other dignitaries have condoled the death of Dr Kalam.
In a message, President Pranab Mukherjee said, "Dr. Kalam was immensely popular and greatly admired and his warmth, humility and simple ways endeared him to one and all. Dr Kalam had a special love for children and sought to constantly inspire the youth of the country through motivational speeches and personal interaction."
Vice President Hamid Ansari said, "Dr.Kalam was a true son of India and his contributions to the nation, in his capacity as a man of technology, a teacher and a leader will be deeply cherished by a grateful nation. Dr Kalam was the guide of India's space and missile programs and his efforts saw India become a front ranking power in these spheres."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "India mourns the loss of a great scientist, a wonderful President and above all an inspiring individual. He said, Dr Kalam enjoyed being with people and people and youngsters adored him. He loved students and spent his final moments among them."
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said, "Dr Kalam was the missile man of India and after relinquishing the charge of President of India, he relentlessly taught science to the youth of our country. In his death, the country has lost a true patriot, world renowned scientist and original thinker who served the nation with distinction."
BJP President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior BJP leader LK Advani have also condoled the death of Dr Kalam.