New Delhi, August 17: Minutes after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee was laid to rest with full state honours at Smriti Sthal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to pay last respect to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) patriarch. “Atal Ji, you will live on in the hearts and minds of every Indian. No words can ever do justice to your rich contribution towards the making of our country,” Modi posted.
Referring to foreign dignitaries, who attended the funeral ceremony of Vajpayee, PM Modi wrote,”People came from all parts of India, from all sections of society to pay tributes to an extraordinary personality who made an extraordinary contribution to the nation. India salutes you Atal Ji!”
On the other hand, president Ram Nath Kovind wrote to Vajpayee’s foster daughter to condole the former Prime Minister’s death. He recounted incidents that made Vajpayee a “Renaissance man of Indian politics”.
“My condolences at the passing of Atal Bihari Vajpayee; my heartfelt emotions are with you and others in the family in this moment of profound tragedy. Atalji’s death is, of course, a personal loss for you and others at home but it is also a personal loss for me,” Kovind said in his letter to Namita Kaul Bhattacharya.
Kovind recounted how Vajpayee’s charisma inspired him to join politics after giving up his legal career. “It was his stature and dignity that attracted me to public life, as I gave up the legal profession to become his colleague. Working with him was an unforgettable experience. Years later, when I called on him after being elected the President of India, he was bedridden, but responded as only he could with a movement of his eyes. Silently, I felt, he blessed me,” Kovind added.
Vajpayee, who passed away at AIIMS at the age of 93, was cremated on Friday with full state honours at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal, where people turned out in the tens of thousands to pay tribute. Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led political leaders cutting across party lines and foreign dignitaries in bidding adieu to the departed leader.