Prez unveils Vajpayee's portrait in Parliament's Central Hall

12 Feb 2019

President Ram Nath Kovind today unveiled a life-size portrait of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Central Hall of Parliament House, noting the former Prime Minister led the nation under trying times.
The President also said that the BJP veteran displayed exemplary patience and grit under the most difficult circumstances. Describing Vajpayee as a "school of public life", he said the former PM worked hard to speed up connectivity by pushing for highways, reforms in the IT and telecom sectors. The President also felicitated Krishna Kanhai, the artist who made the portrait of Vajpayee. The portrait shows a smiling Vajpayee in his trademark 'dhoti-kurta' and sleeveless black jacket.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while people recall the oratory skills of Vajpayee, his silence had more power than his words. He recalled the famous pauses Vajpayee used to take in his speeches. "His silence had a message," Modi said in his address. The Prime Minister said despite the ups and downs in his political life, the BJP veteran never compromised on his principles. He said for Vajpayee, there were no enemies in politics. "There is Opposition. There are no enemies in democracy. The new generation and we all have to learn," he added.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said Vajpayee had "virtually no enemies". He said Vajpayee's principle that there could be rivalry but no enmity in politics needs to be followed today when the "political discourse is going down". Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad recalled Vajpayee's words that if India is not secular, it is not India. (PTI)