Right from his adolescence till the end of his life, Vajpayee lived for the aspirations of the people of the country, PM Narendra Modi said at the prayer meeting.
Narendra Modi:Addressing an all-party prayer meeting on Monday to remember Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the former prime minister was true to his name while taking tough decisions and never buckled under pressure. Right from his adolescence till the end of his life, Vajpayee lived for the aspirations of the people of the country, Modi said at the prayer meeting.
“Vajpayee-ji has set an example for all, he dedicated his life to the nation right from adolescence till the end of his life. In his youth itself he had decided that he wanted to serve his fellow Indians,” Modi said.
Saying that Vajpayee entered politics when only one party dominated the political discourse, Modi said that despite spending several years in the opposition, the 93-year-old leader never compromised on his ideology.
“He spent several years in opposition, but never compromised his ideology. His efforts ensured that India became a nuclear power and attributed the tests to the brilliance of our scientists. He never buckled under pressure. He was Atal after all,” Modi said.
The meeting was held a day after the former PM’s ashes were immersed in the river Ganga. The prayer meeting was attended by Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, BJP veteran LK Advani and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti among others.
The prayer meeting started with a short documentary on the life of the former PM. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi did not attend the meeting due to functions linked to the birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Modi further said it was Vajpayee who changed the narrative when some countries were cornering India on the Kashmir issue. “Due to Vajpayee ji, terrorism became an important issue on the world stage,” he said. No party was willing to support Vajpayee when he formed the government for 13 days, Modi said, referring to the short-lived NDA government in 1996.
“The government fell. He did not lose hope and remained committed to serving the people,” he told the gathering and added that Vajpayee showed the way when it came to coalition politics. He distinguished himself as a parliamentarian and was proud of parliamentary traditions, Modi said.