Maharashtra leaders grieve for Vajpayee

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Mumbai, Aug 16 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other state leaders on Thursday paid rich tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, with Fadnavis saying that the late leader would a role model for coming generations.

“It’s impossible to believe that Atal ji is no more. An irreparable loss. Atal ji will continue to inspire us by his thoughts, principles and teachings. Not just in the past but he will also be a role model for generations to come,” the Chief Minister said.

“Vajpayee was one of the best Prime Ministers India had; an ocean of knowledge, an excellent orator, a great humanitarian and everyone’s idol, determined to make our nation strong.”

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar described Vajpayee’s demise as “a personal loss, having spent numerous year in our parliamentary life together.”

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He remembered him as a “great soul, an eloquent poet, orator par excellence, an excellent human being, and one of the greatest parliamentarians of India.”

Maharashtra Congress President Ashok Chavan said that the country has “lost a leader who was a paragon of high moral values in public life.”

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said that the “liberalisation of the economy started in 1991, (but) was speeded up under Vajpayee’s rule.”

He recalled how his (late) father Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil, a Cabinet Minister in the NDA-I government, had requested Vajpayee to issue a commemorative coin on Saint Tukaram Maharaj, which the then Prime Minister readily agreed to, and it was released later.

Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde (NCP) shared memories of working under Vajpayee when he (Munde) was with the BJP, planning his engagements in Marathwada region.

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“He was a multi-dimensional personally, thinker, poet and a sensitive human. His speeches continue to inspire us and he made a major contribution to the national politics,” Munde said.

Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said that Vajpayee is “the only leader who had won the confidence of his opponents, who created the ideals for taking the country forward democratically, along with the ruling and opposition parties.”

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi, former Union Ministers Sushilkumar Shinde, Praful Patel, Prithviraj Chavan, and NCP MP Supriya Sule also paid rich tributes to Vajpayee, who passed away in Delhi earlier in the day at the age of 93.

–IANS

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