Mr Fadnavis said Mr Vajpayee believed political opponents were rivals and not enemies.
Mumbai: Describing him as a multi-faceted personality who believed in uniting minds, the Legislative Assembly on Monday paid rich tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on August 16 this year.
Several MLAs lauded the contribution of Mr Vajpayee to the nation while speaking on the condolence motion moved by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in the Lower House on the first day of the winter session.
Mr Fadnavis said Mr 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 Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar called him gurudev as Vajpayee’s personality was so huge that everyone could learn from him,” he said.
The chief minister also highlighted the Pokhran nuclear tests that took place when Mr Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and his efforts to have good relations with Pakistan. “Vajpayeeji 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,” Mr 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,” he added.