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Rich tributes paid to Vajpayee: Atal was a man of decisiveness, says PM


New Delhi, Glowing tributes were paid to Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee at a special special meeting at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Monday. In his address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Late Vajpayee lived every moment of his life and dedicated his life to the cause of the common people and the downtrodden section of the society. The meeting was attended among others by family members of former Prime Minister besides Prime Minister Modi and who's who of public life including RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai, BJP patriarch L K Advani, former J&K Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti and senior ministers Rajnath Singh, Ram Vilas Paswan, Piyush Goyal, BJP president Amit Shah, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Yoga guru Baba Ramdev. On August 8, 1999, Late Vajpayee had launched NDA election campaign from this venue after India's victory in Kargil conflict. "There were moments of political untouchability....he was truly a Mahapusrush, who lived in Opposition party for long and remained firm with his conviction about democratic values," the Prime Minister said. "Weh nam se Atal they aisa nahi...(He was not only Atal by name but displayed his determination)," Prime Minister said and referred to the bold decision of conducting nuclear tests on May 11, 1998. Vajpayee's foster-daughter Namita Bhattacharya, her husband Ranjan Bhattacharya and former Prime Minister's grand daughter Neharika were among the early comers. The session was also attended by Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, RJD leader Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, NCP leader Tariq Anwar besides thousands of admirers of former Prime Minister. Trinamool Congress was represented by Derek O'Brien, while Lok Sabha MP Chandrakant Khaire represented his party Shiv Sena. CPI leader D Raja, Danish Ali of JD(S), Union Minister Ramdas Athawale were also present. A pensive looking LK Advani was seen chatting with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. Former Prime Minister Vajpayee breathed his last on August 16 after prolonged illness and his last rites were performed on August 17. The Central government has declared seven-day mourning from August 16.

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