New Delhi: Paying glowing tributes to former President A P J Abdul Kalam, the Union Cabinet today passed a resolution saying the country has lost "a visionary scientist, a true nationalist and a great son".
The meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressed its profound sorrow at the sad demise of former President of India yesterday in Shillong.
In the resolution, it said, "in his passing away the country has lost a visionary scientist, a true nationalist and a great son".
Both Houses of Parliament adjourned for the day after paying glowing tributes to Kalam.
Lok Sabha will now meet on July 30 to enable members attend Kalam's funeral tomorrow while Rajya Sabha will have its sitting tomorrow.
A seven-day mourning has been declared by the Government.
The last rites of Kalam will take place at his birthplace in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu tomorrow at the request of his family members, sources in the government said after the Cabinet meeting.
Kalam's body was flown in here from Guwahati in a special IAF aircraft.
Prime Minister Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar and three Service Chiefs, received the mortal remains of Kalam at the Palam airport where a tri-services guard of honour was given.
The casket containing the mortal remains of Kalam will be taken from Palam to his residence at 10 Rajaji Marg in a gun carriage, where people can pay homage to the late President from 3 PM onwards.
The Cabinet extended its heart-felt condolences to the bereaved family on behalf of the government and the entire nation.
The former President had breathed his last at Bethany Hospital, Shillong, Meghalaya yesterday after he suffered a massive cardiac arrest and collapsed during his lecture at the IIM.
In the resolution, the government said that Kalam was passionate about transforming society through technology, in particular by inspiring the youth of India to harness science and technology for human welfare.
"Kalam made significant contribution in developing India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle and made India an exclusive member of Space Club," the resolution said.
"Popularly known as the "Missile Man of India', Dr Kalam was responsible for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles. He gave thrust to self-reliance in defence systems by introducing Light Combat Aircraft," it read.
The BJP Parliamentary Party met before the Cabinet. The Prime Minister said the former President was an "ordinary man with an extraordinary personality" who gave the best to every position he held and that India has lost a rare gem in his demise.
Modi said the best tribute to Kalam would be to work to realise the dreams he had for the country.
Describing him as a beloved son of Mother India, he said Kalam always called himself a teacher irrespective of the high posiitons he held and began teaching immediately after he demited President's office.
Talking about Kalam's roots in Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister said language at times works as a barrier but it was the speciality of his character that no Indian felt any diificulty in connecting with him.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi told reporters, "President Kalam was the people's President. He was a President who had the ability to connect with India's youth.
We will miss him, his thinking and his vision. I t is quite apt that he worked till the last second of his life. It was the way he lived his entire life and we are proud of him.