New Delhi, Aug 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spent several years in the opposition but never compromised his ideology.
Crediting the former Prime Minister for India's nuclear capabilities, Modi said that Vajpayee never buckled under international pressure following the nuclear tests.
"Atal Ji's life was for the people of India. In his youth itself, he had decided that he wanted to serve his fellow Indians. He entered politics when only one party dominated the political discourse," Modi said while addressing the prayer meeting for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"He spent several years in opposition, but never compromised his ideology. His efforts ensured that India became a nuclear power&attributed the tests to the brilliance of our scientists.He never buckled under pressure. He was Atal after all," he said.
"Atal Ji as PM created three states, which are prospering. The process of creating these states was peaceful and without bitterness," he added.
"When Atal Ji formed the Government for 13 days, no party was willing to support him. The Government fell. He did not lose hope and remained committed to serving the people. Atal Ji showed the way when it came to coalition politics," he further said.
"When some were cornering India on the Kashmir issue, it was Vajpayee Ji who changed the narrative. Due to Vajpayee ji, terrorism became an important issue at the world stage," he said.
Senior political leaders, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, LK Advani, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Ghulam Nabi Azad, former J&K CMs Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, as well as Yoga guru Ramdev were also in attendance for the prayer meet.
Vajpayee's daughter Namita Bhattacharya and granddaughter Niharika were also there for the prayer meeting.