Vice President expresses grief over Vajpayee’s death

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New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday expressed grief over the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, hailing him as “Ajaatshatru of politics” and a source of inspiration for his generation.

Naidu called Vajpayee an “orator and great personality with a sensitive heart of a poet”. He said Vajpayee was a “fantastic wordsmith” and with his civilised dialogue he enriched Parliament’s glory.

Vajpayee, whose politics of moderation in a hardline party propelled the BJP to power for the first time in the 1990s, died on Thursday here following a prolonged illness at the age of 93.

A philosopher and a statesman, Vajpayee never hesitated to speak from his heart when there were larger concerns, Naidu said.

“Overwhelmed with a surge of memories of venerable Atalji. Only these memories will fill the void now left behind by him,” Naidu said in a tweet.

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The Vice President added: “My association and bonding with Vajpayee has been deeply enriching and transformative. I joined politics because of Shri Vajpayee’s speeches that I heard while I was in ABVP. I used to be such a fan of his from my college days.

“He was a real ‘Ajaatshatru’ who got along with people from all sections. He was an able leader and provided a stable government. He practised politics of principles and infused values into politics.

“During my early days in politics, I remember how we all fondly used to call him, ‘Tharuna Hriday Samrat’, (a leader with a young heart). He was efficient and affable, bold and convivial.”

In his death, the country lost a “multi-faceted ‘Ratna’, a diamond”, he said.

–IANS

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