Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday took part in the all-party prayer meeting here organised by the BJP to pay tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and to pray for his soul.
The Chief Minister appreciated Vajpayee and described him a true statesman and a democrat. He spoke about his proximity to the leader during the earlier days of his public life.
The CM also said that the former PM showed the world how to manage coalition governments.
He said, “An astute leader who showed to the world the art of managing a coalition government with its diversities. A true democrat, who chose to lose on the floor of the House upholding the values of our Constitution. It is truly the end of an era.”
The CM also termed the demise of Vajpayee as a national as well as a personal loss. “I will always cherish my association with the late Vajpayeeji especially during my initial years in public life. He embodied a unique combination of grace, idealism and tolerance in politics.”
The CM also talked about the virtues of the former PM, about his command over poetry, statesmanship, understanding of issues and love for people from different political sides.
The CM attended the function after the BJP invited him for the all-party prayer meet for Vajpayee scheduled at the Exhibition Ground in the city.
Senior leaders from different political parties Friday took part in the event. Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Narisingha Mishra, senior BJP leader and Union ministers Dhamendra Pradhan and Jual Oram also were present at the event.
Pradhan said that Vajpayee was one of the few prime ministers who were bestowed with affection by people from all walks of lives.
Narasingha Mishra said that despite differences Vajpayee was never an enemy of anybody.