New Delhi: As the celebrations for 73rd Independence Day come to a conclusion, India remembers late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his first death anniversary today.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Cabinet, along with several top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are scheduled to pay tribute to the veteran BJP leader at ‘Sadaiv Atal’ in the national capital around 7:30 am.

A Tribute

In memory of Vajpayee, Union Minister Amit Shah and BJP working president JP Nadda have organized a cultural programme in which ‘every member of BJP family’ would remember him.

“For this, we will ask every leader, post holder and state unit to ensure tributes to be paid to Vajpayee Ji in every district. Leaders need to ensure that it must be done keeping in mind the stature of the leader to whom we will pay tribute,” stated a senior leader of the party who claimed that many BJP cadres have independently organized events to pay tribute to the leader.

Meanwhile, Manali in Himachal Pradesh will get a statue of the former PM, who used to consider the city his second home. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will lay the foundation stone of Vajpayee’s statue at Ram Bagh. A programme titled ‘Atal Smriti 2019’, honouring the BJP top brass, will also be held on the occasion of his first death anniversary.

End of an Era

Occurring at least 38 times in his speeches, it was BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee who highlighted the words ‘development’, ‘economy’, ‘independence’, ‘young’, ‘future’ and even ‘Pakistan’; on which the BJP government steers its prowess.

Vajpayee was the first person from the BJP to become the Prime Minister of India. He was also sworn in as the PM three times.

After the first two failed attempts, in 1999, the BJP-led National Democratic Party proved an absolute majority and Vajpayee became the Prime Minister for the third time.

His government lasted till 2004, completing a full term of five years, the first non-Congress government to have done so.

However, the BJP’s tallest leader breathed his last on August 16, 2018, after suffering from a prolonged illness.