Chennai: “Through his plans and development programmes, Vajpayee brought to life the famous saying of Anna – We shall find God in the smiles of the poor,” said DMK’s Rajya Sabha member M K Kanimozhi at the condolence meeting of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee held at Perambur on Tuesday.
Cutting across party lines, leaders of all major political parties in Tamilnadu put aside their ideological differences to attend the meeting organised by the State BJP unit.
I can feel your loss
Kanimozhi said that she understood the pain of the BJP cadre, after having witnessed the loss of her father M Karunanidhi recently.
Drawing similarity between Karunanidhi and Vajpayee, Kanimozhi said, “Both leaders were great orators who rose to the top from the bottom rungs in their respective parties.”
She said, “Everybody sees Pokhran as Vajpayee’s biggest achievement. But, according to me, Vajpayee’s biggest achievement is making sure that even the poorest of the poor also have the means to educate themselves through Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan plan.”
Vajpayee’s politics was inclusive
Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar said all politicians must learn from Vajpayee to lead a dignified public life. He said that the former Prime Minister never treated the opposition as the enemy.
Javadekar said, “Vajpayee was a great leader because he inspired three generations of people and politicians during his days at the Jan Sangh, Janata Party and BJP. He guided the BJP when the party had only two MPs and took the party to power.”
VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan also echoed the same views about Vajpayee and said that he did not let power change who he was.
Respected Dravidian ideology
AIADMK Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said that Vajpayee respected Dravidian ideologies and behaved like a brother to Annadurai.
Giving an example of how Vajpayee took pains to see that his plans were beneficial, Jayakumar said, “In 2001, after the Golden Quadrilateral Highway project was complete, Vajpayee cancelled his flight and took a long road journey from Nellore to Chennai to assess the road quality first hand.”
MDMK leader Mallai Sathya, Thamodharan (Congress), B S Gnanadesikan (TMC), K Krishnaswami of Puthiya Thamilagam, P Sampath of CPM, TR Parivendhar of IJK, KAM. Muhammad Abubacker (IUML) and many others took part in the function. From BJP, Union Minister of State for Shipping and Finance Pon Radhakrishnan, Rajya Sabha member L Ganesan and State BJP unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan attended the event.