A number of leaders from across the country and abroad have offered their condolences at the passing away of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The three-time former prime minister breathed his last on Thursday at AIIMS. Leades have mourned the death of the stalwart leader on their own way. Some leaders have taken to Twitter and others on Facebook to condole the death of the former prime minister. Union Minister Arun Jaitley, who is unwell currently, took to Facebook to share his memories of Vajpayee. It was under Vajpayee too that Jaitley has worked as minister in the Union cabinet.
Condoling the death, the minister said that while many are considering the death of Vajpayee as “end of an era”, it is actually the continuation of the era, foundation of which was laid by the 93-year old leader. “Atalji’s demise is referred to by many as end of an era. I, however, consider it as a continuation of the era of which he was one who laid the foundation”.
Discussing the political journey of the departed leader, Jaitley said, “His political journey shaped his ideology. His convictions were shaped by his deep commitment to the nation from the student days association with the Quit India Movement to his joining the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and then being associated with Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee as one of the founders of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh”.
“When the BJP was formed, it suffered initial isolation. Its parliamentary presence was minimal. It faced its lowest ebb in 1984. Notwithstanding this adversity, the duo of Atalji and Shri LK Advaniji held on to their political space and remained determined to expand the BJP. From 89 Lok Sabha seats in 1989 to 121 seats in 1991, to 166 seats in 1996 and finally 183 seats in 1998”.
The ex-finance minister also recounted Vajpayee’s tenure as the Prime Minister. He wrote, “The Nuclear Test in 1998 was a defining moment of his Government. He went out of the way to work for peace with Pakistan. But when the need arose, he inflicted a severe blow to it in Kargil. Both Pokhran and Kargil were his high points. On the economic front, he was a liberaliser. National Highway, rural roads, better infrastructure, a new telecom policy which was pragmatic, a new electricity law are evidence of this. In any intra-governmental debate, his nod inevitably was for the liberal economic view. He corrected the foreign policy imbalance in the changed global environment”.
At the end of his article dedicated to Vajpayee, Jaitley also shared what the late leader had penned down from his hospital bedduring the emergency days. “Jhukna nahi sikha Dr Sahaib. Yuh Kahiye mood nahiya (Never learnt to bend down doctor. You can say, have no mood),” wrote the minister.