President of India writes to Smt. Namita Kaul Bhattacharya on the passing away of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

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New Delhi: The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, has written to Smt Namita Kaul Bhattacharya, conveying his condolences on the passing away of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India.

In his message, the President said, “My condolences at the passing of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee; my heartfelt emotions are with you and others in the family in this moment of profound tragedy. Atalji’s death is of course a personal loss for you and others at home. It is also a personal loss for me. It was his stature and dignity that attracted me to public life, as I gave up the legal profession to become his colleague. Working with him was an unforgettable experience. Years later, when I called on him after being elected President of India, he was bed-ridden but responded as only he could with a movement of his eyes. Silently I felt he blessed me.

Atalji’s loss has also been felt in millions of homes across the country. He was our much loved former Prime Minister, a national leader of rare distinction and a statesman of modern India. In his long and distinguished public career, he touched innumerable lives in innumerable ways – as a freedom fighter and an intellectual, as a writer and a poet, as a parliamentarian and an administrator and finally as Prime Minister. He was truly the Renaissance Man of Indian politics.

As the Prime Minister of India, Atalji was an example of grace under pressure, and of decisive leadership in challenging circumstances. The Pokhran tests of 1998, the Kargil crisis of 1999, the economic changes his government brought about, and the growth and development track on which it put our country’s GDP – his was a term rich in achievements and in legacy. The Bharat Ratna conferred on him in 2015 was a fitting manifestation of India’s affection and gratitude. The loss of this large-hearted, larger-than-life leader will be sensed not only in India but across the world.

Please once more accept my deepest condolences and convey these to the countless friends and admirers of Atalji. May the Almighty give you and other members of the family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss”.

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