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National News

Aug 20, 2018

PM Modi, political and spiritual leaders pay rich tributes to Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Pics: Tweeted by BJP
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that due to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, terrorism became an important issue at the world stage. Addressing an all-party prayer meeting organised in the memory of former Prime Minister at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi this evening, Mr Modi said,  when India was being cornered on the Kashmir issue, it was Atal Bihari Vajpayee who changed the narrative. 

He said, the efforts of the former Prime Minister ensured India to become a nuclear power and he attributed the Pokhran tests of 11th May 1998 to the brilliance of the scientists. Mr Modi said, two days later, India tested again and showed what a strong political leadership can do. The Prime Minister said, like his name, Atalji never buckled under pressure. Mr Modi said, Atalji entered politics when only one party held sway over the political discourse. He said, Atalji spent several years in Opposition but never compromised on his ideology. 

Speaking about wrestler Bajrang Punia who won the 1st Gold for India in the Asian Games 2018 and  dedicated the medal to the departed leader, Mr Modi said,  he does not think Bajrang would have had the opportunity to closely interact with Atal Ji but such is Atal Ji's respect that every Indian is inspired by him. 

Senior BJP leader and a long time friend LK Advani in a choked voice narrated his close association with the departed leader. Mr Advani said, during his 65 years friendship with Vajpayee, he learnt many things from him. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said even after his death, he has unified all.

Paying his tributes, BJP president Amit Shah said, it is not possible to fill the vacuum which has been created in the social life of the country after the demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He said, every worker of the Bharatiya Janata Party will work on the same ideology which the departed leader lived his entire life.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Harivansh, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, AIADMK leader and Deputy Speaker Lok Sabha M Thambi Durai, LJP President Ram Vilas Paswan, BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Telugu Desam Party leader YS Chaudhary, CPI leader D Raja, Sharad Yadav, TMC MP Derek O' Brien, Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Shiv Sena leader  Subhash Desai, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind leader Moulana Mehmood Madani, BJD leader Shashi Bhushan Behera, Baba Ramdev and Swami Avdheshanand were among those who paid their tributes at the event.

Another such meeting will be organised in Lucknow on August 23. The Lucknow prayer meeting will be attended by Union Home minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Vajpayee's relatives among others.

One of the most charismatic leaders of independent India, Vajpayee passed away in New Delhi on Thursday at the age of 93. He was cremated with full State honours at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal in the national capital on Friday. His ashes were immersed in the Ganga river at Haridwar in Uttarakhand yesterday. 

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