Ujjain: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s journey as a master orator began from Ujjain. At the age of 12 years, he delivered his first speech during Baal Sabha in Barnagar tehsil. Barnagar residents still remember Vajpayee as a child who completed his primary education from Anglo Verma Middle (AVM) School. Madhya Bharat head of Jan Sangh Badrilal Dave lived in Barnagar.

His father Ganeshilal Dave had purchased the building at Juna Shahar, Mangalnath Road Barnagar in 1920. He shifted to the place in 1935 after the then Gwalior Estate opened EVM School in the building. Vajpayee’s father Krishna Bihar Vajpayee was transferred from Gwalior to AVM School as headmaster in 1930.

Dr Nitin Dave, son of Badrilal Dave, said that Krishna Bihari Vajpayee and his family lived in Barnagar for two years. He was later transferred to Gwalior. “At that time, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was about 12-year-old. Dr Nitin Dave (a retired government professor) said that during that time Sundar-Kaand recital and a Baal Sabha (children’s assembly) was organised at AVM every Saturday. “Atalji delivered his first speech in one of such sabha,” he said. He further said that whenever Atalji used to visit Barnagar, he recalled his school days.

Meanwhile, a pal of gloom descended as soon as news of Vajpayee’s death spread. As Jan Sangh and BJP leader, Vajpayee had visited Ujjain several times.  Former minister Babulal Jain, former mayor Radhe Shyam Upadhyay, RSS member Ramesh Chandra Sharma prospered under his patronage. Former Ujjain Municipal Corporation president Prakash Chittoda too has many experiences to share.

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