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Portrait of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee unveiled in Parliament

Portrait of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 12, 2019, 10.17 AM (IST)

President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday unveiled the portrait of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Central Hall of Parliament in Delhi.

The event was attended by Prime Minister Modi along with several other dignitaries.

Speaking at the event, PM Modi said, "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".

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji will be remembered because there was criticism in his words for opposition but in his heart, there was no anger against opposition".

The portrait had been prepared by the renowned artist Krishn Kanhai of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh.

The decision in this regard was taken unanimously on December 18, last year at a meeting of the parliament's portrait committee chaired by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Deputy Speaker and AIADMK leader M. Thambi Durai, BJD`s Bhratruhari Mahtab, TMC`s Sudip Bondopadhyay, TRS` Jithendra Reddy, Shiv Sena`s Ananth Geete and BJP`s Satyanarayan Jatia had attended the meeting.

Vajpayee, a towering BJP leader, was the Prime Minister thrice – first for 13 days in 1996, then for 13 months from 1998 to 1999, and then from 1999 to 2004.

Born on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP veteran passed away on August 16, 2018, after a prolonged illness.

The leaders whose portraits already adorn the Central Hall include former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. 

Earlier, on the eve of Vajpayee’s 94th birthday, Prime Minister Modi released a commemorative coin in memory of the late leader on December 24, 2018, in the presence of Sumitra Mahajan and some ministers.

The commemorative coin has the Emblem of India on one side and on the other side, Vajpayee’s picture with his name inscribed in Devanagari and Roman languages.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

The decision in this regard was taken unanimously on December 18, last year at a meeting of the parliament's portrait committee chaired by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.