New Delhi, Aug 20: A prayer meeting was held in the national capital for former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away recently.
Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, TMC Leader Derek O’Brien, BJP Veteran LK Advani, former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti, Yoga guru Ramdev, former Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah, others attended the prayer meeting.
Remembering Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “Atal Ji’s life was for the people of India. In his youth itself, he had decided that he wanted to serve his fellow Indians. He entered politics when only one party dominated the political discourse”.
“He spent several yrs in opposition, but never compromised his ideology. His efforts ensured that India became a nuclear power&attributed the tests to the brilliance of our scientists. He never buckled under pressure. He was Atal after all”, Modi added.
Speaking at the event, LK Advani stated: “have addressed several public meetings but I had never thought that I will once have to address a meeting like this, a meeting where Atal ji would not be there”.
The BJP veteran recalled his memories with former Prime Minister. He said “I consider myself fortunate that my friendship with Atal ji lasted for 65 years during which I watched him closely. Working together, we shared our experiences, watched films together and read books together”.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh in his address at the prayer meeting asserted ” He did not become popular because he was the PM. I think he would have been as popular as he was after being the PM, had he worked in any social or political sector”.
Granddaughter of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Niharika and his daughter Namita Bhattacharya also made their presence at the prayer meeting.
Even after his death, he has brought us together in one room, which is great. When I was a minister and he was a leader of the opposition, we used to have lunch and tea in each others office. It was not that difficult in those days, said GN Azad.
TMC Leader Derek O’Brien told the gathering “If you look for definition of certain words, you have to look in the dictionary. But there’s one word you don’t need to look in dictionary…if you look at his face you will get the meaning of the word ‘secular’.
Yesterday, Late Prime Minister’s foster daughter and grand-daughter collected his ashes from the Smriti Sthal and immersed it in Ganga river in Haridwar.
The same ritual was performed in 100 other “sacred rivers” of the country. After Haridwar, Vajpayee’s ashes will be immersed in all the holy rivers of Uttar Pradesh, including Ganga, Yamuna and Tapti, to respect his grand stature.
Vajpayee died on August 16 and he was cremated on Friday with full state honour at Smriti Sthal in the national capital.