Arunachal Assembly pays tribute to Vajpayee
ITANAGAR, Aug 27: The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly today paid glowing tribute to former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Atal Behari Vajpayee who died due to prolonged illness at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) New Delhi on August 16.
Leading the House, Speaker Tenzing Norbu Thondok during the obituary reference in respect to Vajpayee termed him as ‘Visma Pitamah’ as said by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
Thongdok said Vajpayee was a statesman and a noble soul of the country in whose demise the country has lost an excellent leader and a great poet. Born on December 25, 1924, Vajpayee was an iconic leader, known for his cultural moderation, liberalism and political reasonableness. He became the Prime Minister of India thrice – first in 1996 when he served the term for 13 days, second in 1998 for a period of eleven months, and third time in 1999 for a full term of five years.
“It was during his tenure that India successfully conducted nuclear tests at Pokhran and renewed hopes for peace between India and Pakistan emerged with the start of the New Delhi-Lahore bus service. His government has been till date the only non-Congress government to stay in power for five years,” Thongdok said.
“Besides being a seasoned politician and outstanding parliamentarian, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also a renowned poet and a highly popular personality across the political spectrum,” the speaker added.
Vajpayee chose to stay bachelor for entire life. He adopted the daughter of long time friend Rajkumari Kaul and B N Kaul and raised her as his own child.
Atalji began his career in politics as a freedom fighter. Later, he joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), a Hindu right-wing political party, under the leadership of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee. He became national secretary of BJS in charge of the Northern region.
As the new leader of BJS, Vajpayee was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1957 from Balrampur. He rose to become the national president of the Jana Sangh in 1968. Supported by his colleagues Nanaji Deshmukh, Balraj Madhok and LK Advani, Vajpayee took the Jana Sangh to greater glory.
He became a Union Minister in 1977 when Morarji Desai-led Janata Party coalition came to power for the first time. He became the Minister of External Affairs in cabinet of Morarji Desai. As foreign minister, Vajpayee became the first person to deliver a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in Hindi. His career as a minister was short-lived as he resigned from his post following the resignation of Morarji Desai in 1979. But by then, Vajpayee had established himself as a political leader.
By 1984 elections, the BJP had established itself as an important political party in Indian politics. Vajpayee was sworn in as the 10th Prime Minister of India following the 1996 General Elections, where the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha. However, the government collapsed after only 13 days after his government could not gather support from other parties to obtain a majority.
The BJP-led coalition government came back to power as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 1998. Vajpayee was again sworn in as the Prime Minister. Vajpayee’s second term as PM is known for Nuclear tests conducted at Pokhran desert in Rajasthan, in May 1998.
Vajpayee also pushed for peace process with Pakistan. He inaugurated the historic Delhi-Lahore bus service in February 1999. He also pitched for resolving the Kashmir dispute and other conflicts with Pakistan, the Speaker added.
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Main taking part in the discussion in absence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu who, had to go to Delhi for official work, termed him as a leader adorned by all political parties.
Mein said, Vajpayee brought remarkable changes in the political arena of the country besides in the developmental front.
“The Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) launched by Vajpayee had brought a revolutionary change in the country for which every village has been connected with all-weather road,” the deputy chief minister said.
Mein said, the package prepared by Vajpayee for North East began to take shape since 2007 and the region would immensely benefited for various undergoing flagship programmes initiated by Vajpayee like Bogibeel Bridge in Assam’s Dibrugarh district, Dhola Sadiya Bridge and Trans Arunachal Highway.
“Vajpayee’s idea was to develop North East so that India could shine in real sense,” the deputy chief minister said adding, his principle of country first, party last’ had won hearts of million Indians.
Mein also appealed the members of the house to follow Vajpayee’s principles and ideologies so as to make his dream of a vibrant India come true.
All the ministers and majority of the legislators also took part in the obituary reference.
The House later observed two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul before the speaker adjourned the proceedings for the day.