New Delhi: A memorial of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be dedicated to the nation on his birth anniversary on Tuesday at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other eminent personalities will attend a prayer meeting at the memorial near Rajghat, according to the ‘Atal Smriti Nyas Society’, which has developed the memorial named Sadaiv Atal.
In Uttar Pradesh, the state government has planned to observe Vajpayee’s birth anniversary as Good Governance Day with programmes such as kavi sammelans, debates, poetry recitals, rangoli competitions and extempore debates in all the schools and colleges in the state on December 23 and 24.
Photos of these competitions will also be displayed at the main programme to be held at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Scientific Convention Centre in Lucknow on Tuesday. On December 25, a two-hour play, ‘Rashtra Purush Atal’, will be staged by a 200-strong group from Maharashtra.
Meanwhile, on the eve of Vajpayee’s 94th birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a Rs 100 commemorative coin in the memory of the former premier. Vajpayee’s long-time associate and BJP veteran LK Advani, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah were also present at the event.
Addressing the gathering, Modi said he would go to Vajpayee’s memorial to reiterate his commitment to the ideology and path shown by the statesman. “Atal Ji wanted democracy to be supreme. He built the Jana Sangh. But, when the time came to rescue our democracy he and others went to Janata Party. Likewise, when the choice was between remaining in power or comprising on ideology, he left Janata Party and formed the BJP,” the Prime Minister said.
He said while for some, power is oxygen and they cannot live without it, Vajpayee spent a long part of his career in the Opposition benches raising issues of national interest. The late Prime Minister never compromised on the ideology of the party, Modi said.
He said, the party, which “Atalji built brick by brick” was among the largest political parties. “When he spoke, the nation spoke… When he spoke the nation listened,” he said.
The mind is not ready to believe that Vajpayee is no longer alive. Though he was away from public glare for nearly a decade due to ill health, the way people gave him a farewell on his demise showed the mark he had created in people’s minds, Modi said.