Bhubaneswar: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who died Thursday had many connections with Odisha ranging from the laying of the foundation stone for All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar to many others.
According to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar official website, the former PM who envisioned opening new branches of AIIMS across the country under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana laid the foundation stone of the institute in Bhubaneswar July 15, 2003. It was he who while announcing the six new AIIMS chose Bhubaneswar as one of them.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also shared a close connection with the ex-PM. The CM served under his NDA government at the Centre as a Cabinet Minister.
The CM, April 24, 2017, had visited Vajpayee at his official bungalow at Delhi’s Krishna Menon Street. He met him citing it as a courtesy call after attending the NITI Aayog’s Governing Council meeting there. He told the media then that it was a courtesy call.
The veteran BJP leader also laid the foundation of the Paradip refinery of the Indian Oil Corporation of India (IOCL) in 2002. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the refinery recently.
Vajpayee was also the first PM to carve out a dedicated ministry for Tribal Affairs at the Centre and chose a leader from Odisha –Jual Oram – as the first person to lead the ministry from the country. Oram was also selected for the post in 2014 after his earlier stint under Vajpayee.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also credited Vajpayee for supporting the state during the Super Cyclone in 1999, ensuring pucca houses for the poor in the state and impetus to rural roads under PM Sadak Yojana. He said that the National Highway expansion from 16,000km to 32,000kms was undertaken under his guidance.
He had love for everybody and was loved by everybody. Yug Purush Atalji’s thoughts, sentiments and emotions were all dedicated and devoted to the uplift of nation and for the welfare of the humanity at large
Ganeshi Lal I Governor
Odisha will be forever thankful to Atal ji for granting us AIIMS, Bhubaneswar. His visionary Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana also paved the path for rural development in Odisha
Dharmendra Pradhan I Union Minister
It as an irreparable loss for the nation and people of this country. Behera said the Vajpayee’s contribution to education, journalism, literature and society will be remembered for ever
Sashi Bhusan Behera I Finance Minister
Vajpayee was adored and revered by one and all, his colleagues and supporters as well as persons having a different view point. He dedicated his entire life for the service of the country
Narasingha Mishra I Leader of Opposition.
A great man, a towering politician and a lovable democrat. All sensible Indians will miss him
tathagata satpathy I dhenkanal mp
The vacuum created by him will remain unfulfilled forever. But the country will continue to be inspired by his ideas
KV Singh Deo I BJP leader
Deeply saddened on the sad demise of Atal Bihar Vajpayee. Statesman, a gentle giant who stood by his ideals….was his charismatic oratory skills and poetry, since my school days. A big loss for the nation
RP Sharma I DGP