Left leaders in BJP HQ to pay tributes to Vajpayee

Left leaders in BJP HQ to pay tributes to Vajpayee

People pay their last respects to the mortal remains of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the BJP headquarters at DDU Marg in New Delhi on Friday, August 17, 2018. A seven-day state mourning has been announced as a mark of respect for the former prime minister Vajpayee who passed away at the age of 93, at Delhi's AIIMS hospital on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

Leaving aside ideological differences, Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja on Friday drove to BJP headquarters here to pay their last respects to former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and AAP MP Sanjay Singh were also among others who visited the BJP office to pay respects to the BJP patriarch.

The Left leaders' gesture was underscored Vajpayee's acceptability among various shades of political opinion.

CPI(M) General Secretary Yechury, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Tapan Sen and CPI National Secretaries Raja and A Narayana went to the BJP office on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg this afternoon where they paid tributes to Vajpayee (93), who breathed his last on Thursday evening.

"It was the speciality of Atalji that he never let humanity be harmed due to political and ideological differences. Such a principle is needed in the country today. We were ideologically on the opposite side but when it came to personal relations, Vajpayee was different," Yechury told DH.

Soon after Vajpayee's death, Yechury had tweeted, "though we opposed each other vehemently on political and ideological issues Vajpayeeji’s good-nature, decency and willingness to engage with all political leaders always made him stand out. Condolences."

Raja said the Left and Vajpayee's BJP were "diametrically opposite" on ideology but the departed leader had an uncanny ability to reach out to Opposition to take them on board. "He respected Parliamentary democracy," Raja told DH.

There were a steady stream of visitors at the BJP Headquarters, where the mortal remains of Vajpayee was brought from his official residence 6A-Krishna Menon Marg on Friday morning in a flower-decked gun carriage. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and veteran leader L K Advani were among a host of leaders who paid tributes to Vajpayee at the BJP office.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray also came to the BJP headquarters to pay his respects.

Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Devendra Fadnavis (Maharashtra), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Sarbananda Sonowal (Assam) and N Biren Singh (Manipur) also came to the BJP office to pat their respects.

DMK leader A Raja, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu, BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav and BJP MP Hema Malini were others who paid respects to the departed leader.

Bhutanese Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Sri Lanka acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella have arrived in Delhi to attend the funeral of Vajpayee.