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Vajpayee is an international icon: Rajnath

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the latter's residence in New Delhi. File photo  

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday described former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as an international icon who is respected and loved by one and all.

“Our former Prime Minister Vajpayee is not only just an Indian statesman but an international icon who is respected and loved by everyone,” Mr. Singh told reporters in New Delhi.

Mr. Vajpayee is being conferred country’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna on Friday by President Pranab Mukherjee.

The Home Minister said it is a matter of immense happiness for the whole country that the former Prime Minister is being bestowed with the Bharat Ratna.

“His personality, his oratory skill, his honesty and humility signify his greatness. He is a great human being,” he said.

Setting aside protocol, the President will visit Mr. Vajpayee’s Krishna Menon Marg residence on Friday and will confer him the Bharat Ratna later on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other senior Cabinet ministers will be present on the special occasion.

Mamata Banerjee congratules Vajpayee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed happiness over former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee being conferred Bharat Ratna and described him as a “truly great statesman” who richly deserves this honour.

“Happy that Atalji is being conferred Bharat Ratna today.

“He is a truly great statesman who richly deserves this honour.I wish him well,” the Trinamool Congress supremo, who served as a minister in the Vajpayee government, tweeted.

Omar congratulates Vajpayee

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah congratulated former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for receiving Bharat Ratna saying it was “an honour” to serve under him.

“My heartfelt congratulations to Vajpayee Sahib and his family on the day he receives the Bharat Ratna. It was an honour to serve under him,” the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister wrote on twitter.

Omar, the working president of National Conference, was Minister of State for External Affairs in the Vajpayee-led NDA government.

“As his (Vajpayee’s) MOS MEA, I had the occasion to travel with him to 4-5 countries. Memories of those trips on Air India One I’ll always cherish a lot,” he added.

In a departure from tradition, President Pranab Mukherjee will confer the Bharat Ratna on Mr. Vajpayee at his Krishna Memon Marg residence on Friday.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:55:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/conferring-bharat-ratna-on-atal-bihari-vajpayee/article7039209.ece

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