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All quiet at Mahajan's residence

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) This was the place where beaming NDA leaders released their common manifesto in the late 1990s, where the costly but eventually disastrous ''India Shining'' campaign was plotted ahead of the last general elections and the high and mighty of the land celebrated the sighting of the 1,000th full moon by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on January 14.

Visitors once took note of a slogan written inside Mahajan's 7 Safdarjang Road residence here -- telling friends they are welcome and asking relatives to seek an appointment first. It was not known if that now ironic slogan still occupies its place in the house.

With the family away in Mumbai, the gates were locked and not a bird was in sight at the high profile address when news spread this evening that the flamboyant Pramod Mahajan is no more.

A lone TV reporter and a handful of policemen kept watch as vehicles zoomed past the place, once considered 'auspicious' in BJP circles.

Mahajan had stayed here for the last time on April 20, two days before being fatally shot by his younger brother in Mumbai.

He had occupied the place ever since Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee became Prime Minister and shifted to the official 7 Race Course residence a few hundred metres away.

In fact, Mahajan, a close associate of Mr Vajpayee, had organised a gala function attended by over 100 dignitaries to celebrate the sighting of the 1,000th full moon by the former Prime Minister here earlier this year. That was the last major event at 7 Safdarjang Road.

Octogenarian Vajpayee fought back tears today as he condoled the death of his younger colleague, often considered the frontrunner Prime Ministerial material among the BJP's second generation of leaders.


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