New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday wrote a letter to Namita Kaul Bhattacharya, the adopted daughter of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee conveying his condolences on the passing away of the leader.
“My condolences at the passing of Atal Bihari Vajpayee; my heartfelt emotions are with you and others in the family in this moment of profound tragedy. Atalji’s death is of course a personal loss for you and others at home. It is also a personal loss for me,” the President wrote in the letter.
Terming Vajpayee as a national leader of “rare distinction and a statesman of modern India”, President Kovind said that the loss of the former has been felt in millions of homes across the country.
“In his long and distinguished public career, he touched innumerable lives in innumerable ways – as a freedom fighter and an intellectual, as a writer and a poet, as a parliamentarian and an administrator and finally as Prime Minister,” the President said adding that the India’s 10th Prime Minister was truly the “Renaissance Man of Indian politics”.
President Kovind said that as the Prime Minister of India, Vajpayee was an example of “grace under pressure, and of decisive leadership in challenging circumstances”.
Stating that his working experience with Vajpayee was an ‘”unforgettable” one, the President added that it was because of him, he left his legal profession and joined politics.
“It was his stature and dignity that attracted me to public life, as I gave up the legal profession to become his colleague. Working with him was an unforgettable experience. Years later, when I called on him after being elected President of India, he was bed-ridden but responded as only he could with a movement of his eyes. Silently I felt he blessed me,” the President added.
Recalling, Pokhran tests of 1998, the Kargil crisis of 1999 and the economic changes that were brought under Vajpayee’s government, the President said the former prime minister’s term was “rich in achievements and in legacy”.
He further said that the Bharat Ratna conferred on Vajpayee in 2015 was a fitting manifestation of India’s affection and gratitude.
“May the Almighty give you and other members of the family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss,” the President added.
The former prime minister breathed his last on Thursday after a prolonged illness at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS). He was cremated with full state honours in Delhi’s Smriti Sthal on Friday. (ANI)