The funeral of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh turned into a controversial affair and got the Twitterati roaring with rage after a picture from the funeral showed the leader’s body half covered in the national flag and the other half in the BJP party flag over the tri colour.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was among those who condemned the act, calling it an insult to the national flag. “As one who had to fight a court case for four years merely for placing my hand on my heart during the singing of the National Anthem (rather than standing stiffly to attention), I think the nation should be told how the ruling party feels about this insult,” he tweeted.

Trinamool Congress leader Saket Gokhale also took to the micro blogging site saying that civilians would not be spared for disrespecting the tricolour in a similar manner. “If this were a civilian in UP, they’d be charged with sedition. But what’d a party that never participated in the freedom struggle know what the national flag means. Arrogance is one thing. To consider your party as being above the nation is just shameful.”

Soon, #NationalFlag began trending on twitter as netizens further pointed out that such an act took place in presence of the Prime Minister.

The last rites of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh took place on Monday at Rajghat in Narora of Bulandshahr district with full state honours.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP chief JP Nadda and other leaders paid tributes to Singh in Lucknow. Singh, who also served as the Rajasthan Governor, was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the SGPGI in a critical condition on July 4. He died due to sepsis and multi-organ failure, the hospital said.

On Sunday night, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, while paying homage, described Singh as “a true son of Bharat Mata”. He said that the veteran BJP leader would be considered among those leaders of his generation who had deeply impacted Indian politics of his era.

Paying homage to the former UP CM at the stadium, where thousands queued up to pay their last respects, Adityanath said “such was Singh’s love for Lord Ram that he did not care about the lure of office when he had to choose between the two”.

The former Rajasthan governor’s mortal remains arrived by air ambulance at the Dhani Pur air strip on Sunday evening and Adityanath, state BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh and Etah MP Rajveer Singh, who is son of Singh, were also present there.

Singh was the Uttar Pradesh chief minister when the Babri mosque was demolished by a mob of “karsevaks” in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. Along with BJP veterans L K Advani and M M Joshi, he was among the 32 people acquitted in the demolition case in September last year. A Lodhi leader, he was instrumental in the rise of the BJP to power in Uttar Pradesh in the 1990s. He is survived by his wife Ramvati Devi, son Rajveer Singh, who is the Lok Sabha MP from Etah, and grandson Sandeep Singh, who is the minister of state for finance, technical education and medical education in Uttar Pradesh.

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