The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Monday paid rich tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who died on August 16, with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis describing him as a multi faceted personality who believed in uniting minds.
Moving a condolence motion in the lower House on the first day of the winter session, Fadnavis said Vajpayee believed political opponents were rivals and not enemies.
“He would always say there should be no differences in minds despite having differences in opinion. Pandit Nehru was the first to see potential in Vajpayee to lead the nation. Former PM Chandra Shekhar called him gurudev as Vajpayee’s personality was so huge that everyone could learn from him,” Fadnavis said.
The Maharashtra CM, during his speech, also highlighted the Pokhran nuclear tests that took place under the Prime Ministership of Vajpayee as well as the late Bharat Ratna’s efforts to have good relations with Pakistan.
“Vajpayee led an inspiring life. In his death we have lost a dream. He was an ocean of thoughts. He was beyond politics, religion and linguistic differences. The (Narendra) Modi government is working on the foundations laid by Vajpayee,” Fadnavis said.
The Leader of opposition in the Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said representing the country in the United Nations was a moment of greater pride for Vajpayee than becoming PM.
“He referred to (former PM) Indira Gandhi as Durga after the (1971) Bangladesh war. In an era in which political discourse has lowered, Vajpayee’s absence is being truly felt,” Vikhe Patil said.
The House also paid tributes to former state minister Anandrao Devkate, former minister of state Vasantrao Dhotre and former member Madhavrao Gaikwad.
Tributes were also paid to former members Keshavrao Pardhi, Vasudev Deshmukh, Shivajirao Nagwade, Vaijnathrao Akaat, Yadavrao Bhoir, Laxmanrao Jadhav, Vasantrao Thorat, Vithalrao Bhailume, Vasantrao Itkelwar and Vimal Rangnekar.