President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled the life-size portrait of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Parliament’s iconic Central Hall on Tuesday. Several senior leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan were also present at the event. Parliament’s Portrait Committee had taken the decision in this regard on December 18 last year. “Atal Ji had a long political career, a large part of that career was spent in opposition. Yet, he continued raising issues of public interest and never ever deviated from his ideology,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during the event.
The proposal for Vajpayee’s portrait was formalised at a meeting, which was attended by Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. The meeting was also attended by senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, and members from other parties including B Mahtab (BJD), Sudip Bandyopadhyay (Trinamool), Anant Geete (Shiv Sena) and Jitendra Reddy (TRS).
Last year, on the eve of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's 94th birth anniversary on December 24, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had released a Rs 100 commemorative coin in the memory of the former premier.
The former prime minister died at Delhi AIIMS after battling with illness. He was 93.
Apart from the iconic Central Hall of Parliament, the BJP has also undertaken other projects to honour one of India’s tallest leaders. As part of the initiative, a 25-feet high statue of the former prime minister will be installed in Lok Bhawan, the Uttar Pradesh government secretariat in Lucknow. , Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath made the announcement at a ceremony held to celebrate Vajpayee's 94th birth anniversary last year. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, also the local MP, and Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik also attended the function.
"Atalji had strong ties with Uttar Pradesh. He started his public life from Balrampur in the state and represented Lucknow as an MP for five terms," the chief minister said, adding that a number of schemes are being launched in the name of the former prime minister.
"Atalji was the foundation of 'sushasan' (good governance). He learnt the nuances of politics from Deendayal Upadhyay and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and became a symbol of trust in politics," Adityanath said.