New Delhi: Describing Lal Krishna Advani as a 'statesman', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday extended his birthday greetings to the BJP stalwart on his 92nd birthday and said that India will always cherish his exceptional contribution towards empowering the people of the country.
In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister lauded Advani for his contributions to BJP party. "Scholar, statesman and one of the most respected leaders, India will always cherish the exceptional contribution of Shri Lal Krishna Advani Ji towards empowering our citizens. On his birthday, I convey my greetings to respected Advani Ji and pray for his long and healthy life," Modi said.
"Shri LK Advani Ji toiled for decades to give shape and strength to the @BJP4India. If over the years, our party has emerged as a dominant pole of Indian politics, it is because of leaders like Advani Ji and the selfless Karyakartas he groomed for decades," he said in a follow-up tweet.
The Prime Minister said that public service has always been associated with values for Advani and asserted that he has not compromised on the core ideology even once. "When it came to safeguarding our democracy, he was at the forefront. As a Minister, his administrative skills are universally lauded," Modi said.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also extended his birthday greetings to Advani and prayed for his good health. "Warm birthday greetings to senior BJP leader and former Dy PM respected Shri Lal Krishna Advani Ji. I pray for your good health," he tweeted. Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan hailed Advani as a symbol of integrity in politics.
"I extend my birthday greetings to the revered Shri LK Advani Ji, a symbol of integrity in politics, our guide and source of inspiration. May God give you a healthy and long life. May your affection and blessings always be on us," he tweeted. Born on November 8, 1927, in Karachi, Advani served as the Minister of Home Affairs in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government from 1998 to 2004.
He also served as the Deputy Prime Minister under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government from 2002 to 2004. Advani began his political career as a volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). In 2015, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan - India's second-highest civilian honour.
The BJP stalwart represented from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency in 1991 and again from 1998 to 2019, before party chief and current Home Minister Amit Shah contested and won from this seat in this year's national elections.