Remembering former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his prayer meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that whenever someone cornered India on the Kashmir issue, it was the former who changed the narrative.
“Whenever someone tried to corner India on the Kashmir issue, it was Vajpayee Ji who changed the narrative. His far-sightedness helped other countries realise that who actual sponsors of terrorism were. It was because of him terrorism became an important issue at the world stage,” the Prime Minister said while recalling the legacy of Vajpayee’s foreign policy.
Further praising the veteran leader, the Prime Minister said that Vajpayee dedicated his entire life for the people of the country.
“Atal Ji’s was a life for the people of India. In his youth itself he decided that he wants to serve his fellow Indians. He entered politics when only one party held sway over the political discourse. Atal Ji spent several years in Opposition. Not once did he compromise on his ideology. He distinguished himself as a Parliamentarian and was proud of our Parliamentary traditions,” he added.
Highlighting Vajpayee’s contribution in the development of the country, Prime Minister Modi said “Atal Ji’s efforts ensured Indian became a nuclear power.” “He attributed the tests of 11th May 1998 to the brilliance of our scientists. Two days later, India tested again & showed what a strong political leadership can do. He never buckled under pressure. He was Atal after all,” the Prime Minister added.
Besides Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh also lauded the great leader and said that Vajpayee would have been equally revered even if he had not become the country’s Prime Minister.
“I think he would have been immensely popular in the same way, had he worked in the social or political sectors. Personalities like Vajpayee didn’t need to be popular by being the prime minister,” Singh said.
Vajpayee, the country’s 10th prime minister, breathed his last on August 18 at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after a prolonged illness.
The 93-year-old, who led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government from 1998 to 2004, was the first-ever member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to become India’s Prime Minister.