A prayer meeting was held at the historic Ridge here today to pay tributes to the former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratan late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who breathed his last at New Delhi on 16th of this month. Urn (Asthi Kalash) of Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was brought from New Delhi which was received by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and kept at The Ridge, where people of different walks of life paid tributes to their beloved leader. Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda, Former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar, Virbhadra Singh and Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal, Vidhan Sabha Speaker Dr. Rajiv Bindal, CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri, CPM leader and MLA Rakesh Singha, Council of Ministers, Deputy Speaker Vidhan Sabha Hans Raj, Member of Parliament Anurag Thakur, Virender Kashyap and Ram Swaroop Sharma, MLAs, Mayor Municipal Corporation Shimla Kusum Sadrate, RSS Pracharak Narinder Kumar and Sanjeevan, Former Up Pradhan Prini Panchayat of Kullu district Noot Ram, Chief Secretary Vineet Chawdhry, other senior officers of the State Government and people of different walks of the life paid floral tributes on portrait of Former Prime Minister late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the occasion.Paying rich tribute to former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Governor Acharya Devvrat said that he was universally loved politician and great personality who, over the decades, had emerged as a statesman with national appeal.
He said that Shri Vajpayee was a legendary and visionary leader who defined highest values of leadership and his contribution for the development of the country would be remembered for the years to come. He said that Shri Vajpayee by rising above the limits of religion, region and community accepted and adopted everyone with love and affection.The Governor remembered him as a noble soul and said that with his simplicity and humanity, he ruled the hearts of millions of people. He always believed in values based politics and would always be remembered and respected for his simplicity, humanity and benevolence. His spirit will continue to guide us, he said and added that we should follow the principles , he set up in his life.While paying his tributes to Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his own behalf and on the behalf of the people of the State, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that Shri Vajpayee was a statesman, a visionary leader, who was above the party politics and his demise was indeed a great loss to the nation in general and Himachal Pradesh in particular. He said that Vajpayee has special place in his heart for the people of the state and state would always miss his love and benevolence. He said that Shri Vajpayee always considered Himachal Pradesh as his second home and has a house at Prini in Kullu district. He said that whenever Shri Vajpayee got time from his busy schedule he regularly visited Manali and wrote some unforgettable poems there. Jai Ram Thakur said that although Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not active for the last ten years, still his vision, his thoughts and his values were always with the people of the country.
He said that lakhs of youth joined the last journey of Late Vajpayee which shows his deep rooted impacts even in the hearts of the youth. He said that Shri Vajpayee was an orator par excellence who had ability to cast a spell on the audience. He said that Shri Vajpayee also had an ability to say his viewpoint in minimum possible words.Chief Minister said that the idea to construct Rohtang tunnel connecting landlocked hinterland Lahaul valley with rest of the world was conceived in 1998 by Shri Vajpayee and the project was announced by him on 3rd June, 2000. He said that this project was nearing completion and would be the biggest gift of Shri Vajpayee to the State.Jai Ram Thakur also shared some of his fond memories with late Shri Vajpayee. He said that Shri Vajpayee was an ideal human being and showered his benevolence on one and all. He said that his demise was a major loss for the nation as well as for the State.Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda while paying his tributes to Shri Vajpayee said that Shri Vajpayee was in public life for over seventy years, but despite this, probably was the only leader who has only earned friends during his political life. He said that Shri Vajpayee made India a Nuclear Power despite pressure from international community. He said that the biggest tribute to Shri Vajpayee would be that we all walk on the footprints of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Speaker Vidhan Sabha Dr. Rajiv Bindal while paying his tributes said that Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not only a national leader but a world leader. He was respected and admired by one and all.Former Chief Minister Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal said that Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a statesman par excellence who had great respect for democracy. He said that Shri Vajpayee even took criticism in healthy spirit. He said that Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Prime Minister has always considerate towards the developmental needs of the people of the State. He said that Shri Vajpayee took personal interest in the development of the Himachal Pradesh. He said that Rohtang Tunnel was one of the major gifts of Shri Vajpayee for the State. He also shared some of his memories with the former Prime Minister.Former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh while paying his tributes said that Shri Vajpayee had a special place in Indian politics. He said that Shri Vajpayee was always eager to help the needy, without discrimination. He said that at the time of formation of Bangladesh, Shri Vajpayee had termed Late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi as incarnation of “Devi”. He said that Shri Vajpayee would always remain source of inspiration for the generations to come.
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the pride of Lok Sabha, he added.Former Chief Minister and MP Shanta Kumar while paying his tributes to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee said that he was a unparalleled leader in the Indian politics. He was always ready even to acknowledge the contributions of his political opponents. He was a sensitive poet and equally sensitive politician. He also shared some of his memories with the former Prime Minister, which he would cherish throughout his life. He said that friendly and jovial behaviour of Shri Vajpayee had earned him many friends, even in opposition.Leader of Congress Legislative Party Mukesh Agnihotri also paid rich tribute to the former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He said that Shri Vajpayee due to his behaviour and simplicity would remain a role model in the Indian politics for times to come.CPM leader and MLA Rakesh Singha and Prant Pracharak RSS Sanjeevan also paid rich tributes to the former Prime Minister.A documentary on the Himachal sojourn of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee produced by Information and Public Relations Department was also shown on the occasion.Bhajans and patriotic songs were also recited on the occasion by artists.