President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday unveiled a life-size portrait of former prime minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Central Hall of Parliament.
At a special function attended by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kovind said Vajpayee will always be remembered for his decisive leadership during challenging situations, including the 1998 nuclear test and the Kargil War.
Modi said while people recall the oratorical skills of Vajpayee, his silence had more power.
“His silence had a message,” Modi said and added that for Vajpayee there were no enemies in politics.
“There is opposition. There are no enemies in democracy. The new generation and we all have to learn,” the prime minister said.
Azad said as an Opposition leader Vajpayee was unrelenting in his attack on the government but he never downplayed its achievements.
“Vajpayee never had bitter words for political rivals,” the Congress veteran said.
Renowned artist Krishn Kanhai of Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, has painted the portrait of Vajpayee, who served as prime mMinister for three terms between 1996 and 2004. He was the first non-Congress prime minister to serve a full term in office.
The decision to have a portrait of Vajpayee in the Central Hall was taken unanimously on December 18 at a meeting of the parliament’s portrait committee chaired by the Lok Sabha Speaker. Vajpayee breathed his last on August 16, 2018 after a prolonged illness.