The two leaders, who were the top politicians of their respective parties, shared family relations with each other.
Everyone appears to have an interesting anecdote to share from their experiences with former Prime Minister and departed Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The ex-PM, breathed his last at AIIMS on Thursday and was cremated with full state honours at the Smriti Sthal on Friday. Known for his affectionate bonding, Vajapayee was liked by leaders cutting across the partylines.
One of his friends from the opposite side of the political spectrum was former President Pranab Mukherjee. Vajpayee’s friendship with Mukherjee was well known and there was a time when both leaders happened to be neighbours in Delhi’s Lutyens area. The two leaders, who were the top politicians of their respective parties, shared family relations with each other and, according to Mukherjee, there was a special gate that was carved out to allow easy passage of Vajpayee and his family into Mukherjee’s house.
Narrating his memories of Vajpayee, Mukherjee told Hindustan Times how Vajpayee was once bitten by his dog. The former President said that Vajpayee and he used to take their dogs for a morning walk together. However, one day Mukherjee didn’t come and his dog attacked Vajpayee’s dog, who was relatively smaller in size. The former prime minister suffered a wound in his hand as he tried to intervene.
Later, Mukherjee met Vajpayee in the Parliament and saw a bandage on the latter’s hand. Upon enquiring, Vajpayee told Mukherjee that it was his dog who was to blame.
Mukherjee also told HT that Vajpayee was fond of food and his wife used to cook for him. The former President further revealed that his wife had a had a very deep bonding with Mrs Kaul, mother of Namita, Vajpayee’s foster daughter. He also discussed how his wife made all arrangements during Namita’s marriage as the groom was a Bengali.