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New Delhi, 12 February 2019: Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind unveiled the portrait of Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India, in Central Hall of Parliament House today. Thanking the members of the Committee on Installation of Portraits/Statues of National Leaders and Parliamentarians in Parliament House Complex for deciding to install the portrait of Atalji among the comity of great leaders in Central Hall, Shri Kovind said that Atalji would be remembered as the doyen of India’s politics. By accepting defeat and victory in a dignified and graceful manner, he had set a novel example and displayed patience amidst adverse situations. Shri Kovind recalled that Atalji provided decisive leadership during challenging times. Shri Kovind said that the nuclear tests in Pokhran in 1998 and Kargil war in 1999 were examples of his strong decisions. Referring to the unprecedented speech of Atalji in Hindi at UN, the President said that Atalji lived to the meaning of his name (Atal). He was a school in public life and so many of his contemporaries have learnt from him. Underlining that Atalji had a dream that 21st century should be remembered as the century of India, he exhorted the people to fulfil this dream and make India a great nation. Vice-President and Chairman, Rajya Sabha Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu said that Atalji was the tallest leader of contemporary India who left behind an impressive and lasting legacy that could inspire all of us to shape India that we dream of. He was a visionary leader who brought connectivity revolution in the country. For him, connectivity was the key enabler for economic development and national growth. Shri Naidu further said that Atalji had an uncanny ability to connect with the people from all walks of life and political parties with different ideological moorings. He had virtually no enemy and was rightly called the Ajatshatru of Indian politics. He further said that Atalji was a staunch believer in democratic principles and will be remembered for providing good governance to the country. Paying rich tributes to Shri Atal Bihar Vajpayee, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said that now on Atalji will be forever in the Parliament's Central Hall inspiring, guiding and blessing us. He said that if we start talking about the goodness of Atalji, it would take hours and hours. Ataljii had a long political inning out of which a large part of that career was spent in the Opposition. Shri Modi lauded the fact that even as an Opposition leader, he continued raising issues of public interest and never ever deviated from his ideology. Shri Modi recalled that there was power in Ataljji's speeches and there was an equal power in his silence. His communication skills were unparalleled. Shri Modi also said that he had a great sense of wit and humour which used to change the serious atmosphere of meetings. Quoting Atalji, Shri Modi said that in democracy there is always an Opposition, but there is no enemy; we should bear with strong criticism and should learn from Atalji the spirit of criticism with respect. In her address, Lok Sabha Speaker Smt. Sumitra Mahajan said that Atalji was loved by all and the unveiling of his portrait in the Central Hall is a momentous occasion. She said that it was a great privilege for her, as the Speaker of Lok Sabha, to be associated with this event because she had grown and learnt politics from distinguished leaders like Atalji. She thanked all members of the Portrait Committee for having unanimously agreed to the decision to honour Atalji in the Central Hall, which shows that he was a ‘Sarvapriya Neta’. She hoped that the parliamentarians and the visitors to the Central Hall would be reminded of his charismatic and inspiring personality. While expressing himself strongly, he always respected the consensual decisions. While opposing, he never had any bitterness or enmity towards his opponents which allowed him to command respect of others. Atalji was a firm believer in parliamentary norms and did not agreed to Members going to the Well of the House for protest or opposition. He was simple yet a large-hearted person who distinguished himself in all responsibilities in public life and the posts that he held. The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Central Hall has portraits of several great leaders, including five former Prime Ministers, who sacrificed their lives for the nation or contributed for the unity and integrity of India. He said that today, we are unveiling portrait of another doyen of Indian politics Shri Atal Bihar Vajpayee who was not only a great leader but also a great orator and poet. Shri Azad said that will be remembered for his speeches and respect for the Opposition. Earlier, Minister of Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Mines & Parliamentary Affairs Shri Narendra Singh Tomar delivered the Welcome Address. Hon’ble President also presented a shawl to the artist Shri Krishn Kanhai.



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