Tributes have poured in for Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his death at Delhi’s AIIMS on Thursday.
Vajpayee was known to be a an inclusive leader, a quality that is found to be amiss in today’s leadership of the saffron party including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Other than the politicians, Bollywood too fondly remembered Vajpayee as a tall leader of the Indian politics. Taking to Twitter, Shah Rukh Khan called Vajpayee ‘baapji’ adding he had lost a part of his childhood.
He wrote, “My father use (used) to take me for every speech that Mr. Vajpayee made in Delhi when I was growing up. Years on I had the opportunity to meet him and spend lots of time discussing poetry, films, politics abd our ailing knees. I also had the privilege of enacting one of his poems for screen.
“He was fondly addressed as baap ji at home. Today the country has lost the father figure and a great leader. Personally I have lost a part of my childhood and growing up memories of learning smiling and of course poetry. I consider myself luckiest to have had his influence on my life during my formative years…Will miss your smiling face Baapji.”
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) August 16, 2018
Elsewhere, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “I have learnt with profound sorrow about the sad demise of Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. An excellent orator, an impressive poet, an exceptional Public Servant, an outstanding Parliamentarian and a great Prime Minister, Shri Vajpayee ji stood among the tallest leaders of modern India, who spent his whole life serving our great country. His services to our nation will be remembered for a long time to come.”
In her condolence message, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi wrote, “Shri Vajpayee was a towering figure in our national life. Throughout his life, he stood for democratic values and demonstrated this commitment in all his acts, whether as a parliamentarian, a cabinet minister, or Prime Minister of India. He was a spell-binding orator, a leader of great vision, a patriot to the core for whom the national interest was paramount. But above all, he was a man with a very large heart and a real spirit of magnanimity. One saw that in all his interactions — with other political parties and their leaders, with foreign governments, with coalition partners, and indeed with his own political colleagues, whom he always treated with respect and courtesy.
“His warm personality and his gift of friendship won him admirers and friends across the political spectrum and from every walk of life. His death leaves behind a huge void. I join millions of our fellow Indians in mourning his loss and pray for the departed soul.”