Manmohan says Vajpayee was a ‘great patriot’ n Country lost a statesman who believed in the India’s diverse culture: Gowda.
New Delhi: Leaders across party lines condoled the death of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who was the railway minister in Vajpayee government, said she would cherish many memories.
“Very very saddened that the great statesman and former PM Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee ji is no more with us. His passing away is a very big loss to our nation. I will always cherish many fond memories. Condolences to his family and his many admirers,” she said. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also mourned his death. In a letter to Vajpayee’s adopted daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya, Dr Singh said Vajpayee was a “great patriot” and people from all walks of life, irrespective of their political leanings, loved and respected him. He wrote in the letter, “I have learnt with profound sorrow about the sad demise of Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. An excellent orator, an impressive poet, an exceptional public servant, an outstanding parliamentarian and a great Prime Minister, Shri Vajpayee ji stood among the tallest leaders of modern India, who spent his whole life serving our great country. His services to our nation will be remembered for a long time to come.”
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said India has lost a great son and will miss the former Prime Minister.
“Today India lost a great son. Former PM, Atal Behari Vajpayee ji, was loved and respected by millions. My condolences to his family and all his admirers. We will miss him,” he said. The Left parties also condoled the death. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “There are instances where he displayed character which is very different from today’s government. That is, ideologically or politically, there can be issues of confrontations, but when it comes to personal rapport with other leaders or parties, there was difference which we don’t see today. That is why he was acceptable to a large section of people. He had good relations with all parties.”
Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda in his condolence message said with the death of Vajpayee, the country lost a statesman and politician who believed in the country’s diverse culture.
“He was a true parliamentarian. With his death, a vacuum has been created in polity. He was a great orator who refused to attack his opponent personally. He did not allow the House to be disturbed during my tenure as the Prime Minister for 11 months,” Gowda said.
NCP president Sharad Pawar hailed Vajpayee as one of India’s great parliamentarians. He said, “With the sad demise of Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, we have lost a great soul, an eloquent poet, an excellent human being and one of the greatest parliamentarians of India.”
DMK working president M.K. Stalin said despite ideological differences, the late ‘Kalaignar’ M. Karunanidhi shared cordial relationship with Vajpayee.
“By taking part in a protest by Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation, organised in Madurai, for the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka, Vajpayee made TN proud...It is a big loss to the country,” he said.
RJD president Lalu Prasad also expressed grief over former PM’s demise. “With death of Vajpayee ji I have lost a friend and a guardian. He was the last pillar of type of politics in which even leaders of rival ideologies could enter into dialogue with ease and in a dignified manner...It’s matter of pride that his name also had ‘Behari’...You will be remembered,” Prasad said in his tweet.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Am deeply saddened. A great loss for India.”
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik expressed deep grief over demise of the former prime minister. “I am deeply grieved over demise of Vajpayeeji. India has lost one of its tallest leaders. He was loved by the people of India and of course the people of Odisha as well. May his soul rest in peace,” Mr Patnaik told reporters after paying his tribute to the late leader at the All-India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi.