President Ram Nath Kovind unveils Life-Size Portrait of Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament

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President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday unveiled a portrait of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Central Hall of Parliament. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and several other leaders were also present during the unveiling of the grand portrait.

‘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.

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

Atal Bihar Vajpayee, who passed away in 2018, joins Former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi in the pantheon of former Prime Ministers who have been honored in such a manner.

According to reports, the decision to install Vajpayee’s portrait was taken in December during the meeting of Parliament’s Portrait Committee chaired by the Lok Sabha Speaker.

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.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was, perhaps, one of the most important political leaders of India. He was the 10th Prime Minister of India; first serving a term for just 13 days before resigning in 1996, then for a period of 11 months between 1998 and 1999, and finally for full term in 1999 up until 2004. He is the only non-Congress Prime Minister to have served a full term in office.

On 11th June 2018, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s health was in critical condition and was subsequently admitted to AIIMS. On 16th August 2018, he passed away at 5:05 p.m. (IST), due to age-related ailments.