The passing away of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has come as a shock to the nation, not just the Bharatiya Janata Party but the opposition leaders too have paid tributes to the benevolent leader of India. Among the ones who have been the worst affected by the loss of Atal Ji is the incumbent PM Narendra Modi. PM Modi was present at every step of the final days of the former PM, be it when the news of his illness came out in the media to when he was admitted in AIIMS. Even after the unfortunate demise of a great son of the soil, PM Modi stayed with his body after paying respect at his Krishna Menon Marg residence to the BJP Headquarters in Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg. PM Modi along with the BJP President Amit Shah also accompanied the funeral procession of Atal Bihari Vajpayee (approximately 3 kms) on foot to Rashtriya Smriti Sthal where the last rites will be performed. There is a long history between the two and PM Modi’s blog published today touches upon the close relation he enjoyed with his mentor and predecessor in Indian politics.
The warm relations between the two has its roots since the time when the incumbent PM was simply an RSS pracharak and Atal Ji was the foreign minister and held various posts in the BJP. Atal Ji trusted Modi so much so that by the time when he became PM he would not begin his meetings without the presence of Modi, if and when he was around. It was an example of the faith and trust which Atal Ji had on Modi that he was given the chair of the Gujarat CM. It was a surprising move for everyone installing a largely unknown General Secretary of the party after removing a senior leader Keshubhai Patel from the CM chair, following the Bhuj earthquake. It was Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s discretion upon which he was installed as the CM of Gujarat, Atal Ji liked the approach of Modi to situations in life and promoted him likewise. It was due to his blessings that the then CM Narendra Modi was able to rule Gujarat for 14 years, never losing the state to opposition. CM Modi showed his reverence for Atal Ji whom he considered his political and ideological guru, visiting him every now and then even after Atal Ji quit active politics post 2005.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was one of the first people PM Modi visited after winning the Lok Sabha elections, the former PM blessing the newly elected PM of India. Guru-shishya tradition of India was being followed by PM Modi and he continued to visit his beloved Atal Ji even when the former PM was suffering from dementia. Atal Ji could not recognise the people he met, suffering from many health conditions Atal Ji had also fallen prey to the old age, yet PM Modi remained a regular visitor. Fulfilling the dreams of the new India where religion, traditions and development can go hand in hand is the motto which PM Modi has followed, the motto which was established by the former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Developing India to the fullest extent possible had been the dream of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the man without enemies, a politician who did not lust after power, and for whom the country mattered the most always, ideas which serve as a driving force for PM Modi. They will continue to do so as Atal Ji was much more than a great man, he was a source of great ideas for the country and for PM Modi in particular. Salute.