PM, Sonia pay last respects

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday paid glowing tributes to departed spiritual guru Sri Satya Sai Baba, describing him as a personification of the high spiritual values of the human race.

After paying his last respects to the mortal remains of the Baba, which was kept for public viewing in a glass casket at Sai Kulavant Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam, Dr Singh wrote in the condolence book: “Baba is part of the heritage of humanity.”
UPA chairperson and AICC president Sonia Gandhi too paid tributes to the Baba. “Pranams to Baba in gratitude for giving hope to millions of people,” she wrote in the condolence book, ashram sources told this newspaper.
Dr Singh and Mrs Gandhi on Tuesday joined thousands of tearful mourners who came from various parts of the country and abroad to pay homage to the Baba, who will be laid to rest after a state funeral on Wednesday.
Earlier, the Prime Minister had sent a condolence note to the bereaved Sai fraternity, describing the Baba as a spiritual leader who had inspired millions to lead moral and meaningful lives while following the religion of their choice. “Sri Sathya Sai Baba was a preacher of the highest human values and was an iconic figure for over five decades. He endeared himself to the people through various institutions, with headquarters at Prasanthi Nilayam, that promoted egalitarian values, education and public health,” the Prime Minister stated.
On Tuesday, over two lakh people visited Prasanthi Nilayam to pay their last respects to Satya Sri Sai Baba, including former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, AP governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers S.M. Krishna, Ambika Soni, Muniappa, N. Raghuveera Reddy, J. Geetha Reddy, M. Venkatramana and Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar, among others. Paying his tributes, Mr Modi said, “Baba is my guiding spirit.”

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