Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao 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 CM 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.” 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.” 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.
Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao described him as India’s “most admired and respected” ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of public life. Rao, who had served as Union Minister of State for Home, Industry and Commerce in the Vajpayee government between 1999 and 2004, also remembered the latter as one of the most towering political geniuses to have dominated the political space in India after Independence.
“He was a consummate Parliamentarian, an astute statesman, an orator par excellence and a warm-hearted person,” a statement quoted Rao as saying. “In his demise, India has lost the most admired and respected ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of public life; while I have lost my dearest leader,” he added.