New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) India's leading hotel entrepreneur and MP Lalit Suri was cremated here Thursday with a galaxy of high profile politicians, industrialists and colleagues from the hotel industry gathering to pay their last respects.
Amongst those present at the Nigambodh Ghat were industrialist Anil Ambani with his wife Tina, Rahul Gandhi with sister Priyanka and brother-in-law Robert Vadra, superstar Amitabh Bachchan with MP wife Jaya, Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani.
US-based hotel magnate Sant Singh Chatwal as well as leading hoteliers from Mumbai were also there as Suri's son Keshav lit his father's pyre.
The body of the hotelier, who died of a massive heart attack two days earlier in London, was brought in a private aircraft Wednesday and people of from all walks of life congregated at his south Delhi residence to offer their condolences.
Suri was in London as a part of the FICCI delegation accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his visit to the Britain and Finland.
Social, businezss and political circles in the country termed his demise as a 'great loss'.
Born on April 15, 1947, in Rawalpindi, Suri was an automobile engineer by qualification. His tryst with the hospitality industry began when he took over Bharat Hotels as its chairperson and managing director in 1987.
Suri had established a network of hotels in Delhi, Srinagar, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Khajuraho and Udaipur and also owned the afternoon newspaper, Delhi Midday.
With his untimely demise, Suri leaves behind a huge unfinished business agenda that is now expected to be steered by his widow Jyotsna and his brother Ramesh.
After buying the Great Eastern Hotel in Kolkata for Rs.520 million from the West Bengal government, Suri had drawn up plans to take his brand The Grand to Hyderabad, Amritsar, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Noida.
Suri is survived by three daughters - Divya, Shrata, Diksha - and son Keshav, who has just completed his graduation in London.