Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday turned a rallying point for political leaders as ‘Sadaiv Atal’ (immortal Vajpayee), a memorial of the late leader, was dedicated to the nation here on Tuesday on his 94th birth anniversary. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers also announced that a statue of Vajpayee would be installed in Patna and Lucknow.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and the Prime Minister were among the dignitaries who paid floral tributes to the former statesman at the memorial built near the ‘Rashtriya Smriti Sthal’, where his mortal remains were consigned to flames on August 17.
The memorial is enclosed by nine bas-relief walls having inscriptions of poetries penned by Vajpayee who was known for his rhythmic poems, repartees, and one-liners.
Vajpayee passed away in Delhi on August 16 after a prolonged illness and was cremated with full State honors.
“Tributes to Atalji on his Jayanti. We reiterate our commitment towards creating the India he dreamt of,” Modi tweeted on Tuesday.
Noted singer Pankaj Udhas recited devotional songs at the memorial while the dignitaries paid tributes. Sadaiv (always) Atal memorial will be managed by a trust headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
A vacant piece of land was made available for the memorial at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal here by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. Spread over 1.5 acres, the memorial was constructed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) at a cost of Rs 10.51 crore.
The project was funded by the Atal Smriti Nyas Society.
The founding members of the society include Mahajan, Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon, Gujarat Governor OP Kohli, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, BJP leaders Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Ram Lal.
A rush has begun to get closer to Vajpayee’s political legacy with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath promising statue of Vajpayee in Lucknow. “A 21-meter tall statue of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be installed inside Lok Bhawan in Lucknow,” Adityanath said.