Mr fix-it's final exit
Maratha stalwart Vilasrao Deshmukh, a master political strategist for the Congress who served two terms as Maharashtra Chief Minister and cemented the party's position in the state, breathed his last yesterday after a protracted battle with a liver ailment
The Indian flag flew at half-mast yesterday in the capital and in all state capitals as a mark of respect for union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who died after prolonged illness in a Chennai hospital.
The flag will, however, fly full mast on Wednesday in view of the country’s 66th Independence Day celebrations, a statement issued by the home ministry said.
“The government announces with profound sorrow the death of Vilasrao Deshmukh, union cabinet minister on Tuesday, at 13.40 hrs at Chennai,” said the statement.
“It has been decided that as a mark of respect to the departed leader, the National Flag will be flown at half mast today in Delhi and in the capitals of all states and union territories on all buildings where it is regularly flown,” it added.
It said that as per the Flag Code, if the intimation of the death of any dignitary is received in the afternoon, the flag is to be flown half-mast on the following day as well.
However, in the event of the next day coinciding with Independence Day or Republic Day or Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, the flag shall not be flown at half-mast on that day, the statement said. But, the flag will fly half-mast on the building where the body is lying till it is removed, it added.