MeraNews Network, New Delhi: Bharat Ratna and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's birthday is being celebrated on December 25 as Good Governance Day across the country today. Vajpayee had passed away on August 16, 2018 due to age-related illnesses.
The memorial named Sadaiv Atal for the former PM was dedicated to the nation today. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid floral tributes at the memorial on Tuesday morning. Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani, BJP president Amit Shah, several Union Ministers, family members of the late Prime Minister also paid their homage.
Emphasizing Unity in Diversity, stones from various parts of the country have been used in the construction of the memorial near Rajghat in New Delhi. The central Samadhi platform comprises nine square blocks, capped with a lamp in the centre. The number nine holds significance and represents the navarasas, navaratras and navagrahas. The placement of the nine squares at the memorial is in a circular lotus shaped pattern. The memorial has been built by CPWD at a cost of over Rs 10 crores and the entire cost of construction has been borne by the Atal Smriti Nyas Society.
The Uttar Pradesh government has organized several programmes like Kavi Sammelans, debates, poetry recitals and rangoli competitions in the schools and colleges on the occasion of birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A two-hour play, Rashtra Purush Atal, will be staged by a 200-strong group from Maharashtra in the state capital Lucknow. Government officials will distribute blankets and other items to the needy. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will take part in a discussion on the topic 'Mahanayak Atal' in Lucknow. Vajpayee was a Member of Parliament from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar announced that a statue will be erected in Patna to honour Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He said that the location of the statue will be decided shortly.
Vajpayee has served three terms as the prime minister of India, the first one being 13 days in 1996, then for 13 months from 1998 to 1999 and one full term from 1999 to 2004. He is known for carrying out the Pokhran-II nuclear tests and the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan and later his attempts at improving the relations with the neighbouring country.