Vajpayee memorial inaugurated; Kovind, Modi offer tributes

New Delhi: Sadaiv Atal, a memorial of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was dedicated to the nation today on his 94th birth anniversary.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among the dignitaries who paid floral tributes to the former statesman at the memorial built near the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal, where his mortal remains were consigned to flames on 17 August.

Vajpayee passed away on 16 August after a prolonged illness. He was cremated with full state honours.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and family members of Vajpayee also offered flowers at the lotus-shaped memorial.

Sadaiv (always) Atal memorial will be managed by a trust headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

“Tributes to Atal Ji on his Jayanti. We reiterate our commitment towards creating the India he dreamt of,” Modi tweeted.

A commemorative Rs 100 coin to honour Vajpayee was released a day earlier – on Monday by Modi in the presence of several Union Ministers.

The veteran leader, who led the National Democratic Alliance government from 1998-2004, was the first ever person from the BJP to have become the nation’s Prime Minister.

Vajpayee served as Prime Minister thrice – briefly in 1996, and then for two terms between 1998 and 2004. BJP plans on celebrating 25 December of every year as ‘Good Governance Day.’