Sadaiv Atal dedicated to nation on 94th anniv
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday turned a rallying point for political leaders as ‘Sadaiv Atal’ (immortal Vajpayee), a memorial of the late leader, was dedicated to the nation here on Tuesday on his 94th birth anniversary. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers also announced that a statue of Vajpayee would be installed in Patna and Lucknow.
With the whiff of 2019 Lok Sabha polls in the air, Vajpayee returned to the posters outside the BJP headquarters along with other party veteran LK Advani. In the auditorium of party’s headquarters, though, Vajpayee and Advani have long been replaced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah adorning the dais.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and the Prime Minister were among the dignitaries who paid floral tributes to the former statesman at the memorial built near the ‘Rashtriya Smriti Sthal’, where his mortal remains were consigned to flames on August 17.
The memorial is enclosed by nine bas-relief walls having inscriptions of poetries penned by Vajpayee who was known for his rhythmic poems, repartees and one-liners.
Vajpayee passed away in Delhi on August 16 after a prolonged illness and was cremated with full State honours.
“Tributes to Atalji on his Jayanti. We reiterate our commitment towards creating the India he dreamt of,” Modi tweeted on Tuesday.
Noted singer Pankaj Udhas recited devotional songs at the memorial while the dignitaries paid tributes. Sadaiv (always) Atal memorial will be managed by a trust headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
A vacant piece of land was made available for the memorial at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal here by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. Spread over 1.5 acre, the memorial was constructed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) at a cost of Rs 10.51 crore.
The project was funded by the Atal Smriti Nyas Society.
The founding members of the society include Mahajan, Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon, Gujarat Governor OP Kohli, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, BJP leaders Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Ram Lal.
A rush has begun to get closer to Vajpayee’s political legacy with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath promising statue of Vajpayee in Lucknow. “A 21-metre tall statue of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be installed inside Lok Bhawan in Lucknow,” Adityanath said.
“Atalji had strong ties with Uttar Pradesh. He started his public life from Balrampur in the State and represented Lucknow as an MP for five terms,” the Chief Minister said, adding that a number of schemes are being launched in the name of the former Prime Minister.
“Atalji was the foundation of sushasan (good governance). He learnt the nuances of politics from Deendayal Upadhyay and Syama Prasad Mukherjee and became a symbol of trust in politics,” Adityanath said.
Close on the heels, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar who had served under Vajpayee as Railway Minister, announced that his Government will install a statue of the former Prime Minister in Patna. Though he did not offer details on what the height and cost of the statue are going to be, Nitish said a decision on its location will be taken soon.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and family members of Vajpayee also offered flowers at the lotus-shaped memorial.
The BJP stalwart had a wide political acceptance not only in the Hindi-heartland but across southern States too and considered a moderate ‘secular’ BJP leader by Opposition parties. Though born in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, from where he contested for the Lok Sabha, he played a bigger political inning in Uttar Pradesh. Read more posts…
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 | PNS | New Delhi—
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