Ghulam Nabi Azad
Ghulam Nabi Azad

Leaders across party line recall greatness of 'Gentle Giant' Vajpayee

ANI | Updated: Aug 20, 2018 21:07 IST

New Delhi [India], August 20 (ANI): It is great that Atal Bihari Vajpayee has brought together all leaders from different parties in one hall even after his death, remarked Congress party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad while speaking at all party prayer meet for the deceased former Prime Minister in Delhi.
"Even after his death, he (Atal Bihari Vajpayee) has brought us together in one room, which is great. There are different ideologies but Atal was a rare man who took everyone along. Very rare are such people who shorten the divide even after their death. Atal had a distinct style of speaking, his words were different," he said.
Recalling his experience with the BJP veteran, Azad said, "I worked closely with him for five years. We were from different parties and had different ideologies. When I was a minister and he was the Leader of Opposition, we used to have lunch and tea in each other's office. It was not that difficult in those days".
Loktantrik Janta Dal party leader Sharad Yadav also paid tribute to the late leader and said, "He led an absolutely unblemished life. He had a unique style. He never worried about food, lifestyle or any other thing. I pay my tributes to such a man full of love and humanity".
The prayer meet, organised for Vajpayee at Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium at New Delhi, had leaders across the political spectrum in attendance.
Member of Parliament and Parliamentary party leader (Rajya Sabha) Derek O'Brien, representing All India Trinamool Congress, said, "If you look for the definition of certain words, you have to look in the dictionary. But there's one word you don't need to look in a dictionary...if you look at his (Atal ji's) face you will get the meaning of the word 'secular'. There are many communities around the world, when someone passes away they always write RIP which means 'Rest in Peace' but maybe after 16th Aug 2018 RIP for this great man will mean 'Really Incredible Person'."
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra talked of Vajpayee's generosity and strength and said, "Although he was poetic and generous at heart, he took strong decisions, like nuclear test & Kargil war for the nation. He was loved and respected by the ruling party as well as opposition. We need to follow his principles to spread peace and harmony".
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader and Deputy Speaker Lok Sabha Dr. M. Thambi Durai also joined in the list of mourners and paid his tribute to former PM. He said, "We mourn the loss of a great nationalist, a poet, a statesman, a veteran parliamentarian for decades & above all, a gentleman to the core, the former Prime Minister of India, Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. I was in Lok Sabha 1984 onwards, he was a Rajya Sabha member. I developed friendship with him gradually. He told me once, 'There is always difference in opinion. But for nation's development,what cabinet decides,we implement that'".
Former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee breathed his last on August 18th after being admitted at All India Institute of Medical Sciences for over two months. His last rites were performed on August 19th with full state honours. (ANI)