BJP goes whole hog on Vajpayee

Last Updated 25 December 2019, 16:33 IST

On the 95th birth anniversary of NDA’s first prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the moderate face of Hindutva party, on Wednesday, the BJP went the whole hog from launching a nationwide scheme in his name to naming the world's longest mountain tunnel under Rohtang Pass named after Vajpayee.

The BJP’s massive projection of Vajpayee, whose “insaniyat, jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat” remarks had won many hearts even among minorities, came at a time when violence and protests have hit various parts of the county on Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), which the saffron party has now attempted to play down.

In Uttar Pradesh, a 25-feet-high bronze statue of Vajpayee was inaugurated while in Chandigarh, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and party vice-president Shivraj Singh Chauhan addressed an event on Sushasan Divas during which there was also a “Talk on CAA”. Punjab state president of BJYPM Gaurav Goel tweeted about the event to remember Vajpayee.

In Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced that 2020 would be observed as 'Susashan Sankalp Varsh'. Way back in November 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that every year December 25 would be celebrated as Good Governance Day.

In another BJP-ruled state Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announced that the new collectorate building to be built under the Smart City Mission will be named after Vajpayee.

In Maharashtra, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis participated in the Atal Sandhya programme in Badlapur, organised by BJP Kulgaon-Badlapur.

The government decided to name the strategic tunnel under Rohtang Pass after Vajpayee on his Birthday as Atal Tunnel. It was during his time that decision to construct 8.8-kilometre long tunnel was taken. Union Cabinet had given the approval for the renaming of the tunnel on Tuesday.

Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted in Hindi, which said that Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji left an indelible mark in Indian politics with his nationalistic thoughts, impeccable image and a life dedicated to the nation. He hailed Vajpayee for implanting a strong image of India internationally with decisive leadership, with Pokharan nuclear test and Kargil war.

(Published 25 December 2019, 15:45 IST)

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