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New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 20, 2018, addressed a prayer meeting in New Delhi, organized in memory of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away recently.

The PM said, ” How long our life is, is not in our hands, but we can determine ‘how’ our life will be.” He said that Atal ji showed through his life, how life should be, and what its purpose should be. He said Atal ji lived each moment for the common man. Right from youth till the time the physical body supported him, he lived for the country, the Prime Minister added. He said Atal ji lived for the countrymen, for his principles, and for the aspirations of the common man.

The Prime Minister noted that Vajpayee ji spent most of his political life at a time when there was virtually no alternative to the dominant political ideology. He said that despite facing isolation, he remained committed to his ideals. He stayed in opposition for so long, yet his ideals remained untouched, the Prime Minister said. PM Modi said that Vajpayee ji respected Parliamentary traditions and when the opportunity came, he implemented his vision for the benefit of the people, according to a PIB release.

In each moment you could feel the “Atal” in him, the Prime Minister said. He recalled that on May 11, 1998, he surprised the world through the nuclear tests. He attributed the success of these tests to the skill of our scientists. And despite the widespread adverse reaction globally, Atal ji did not buckle under pressure and showed the world that India is “Atal,” the Prime Minister said. He said that three new states were formed under Vajpayee ji’s leadership without any trace of bitterness. He said Vajpayee ji showed how to take everyone together in decision making.

The Prime Minister recalled that when Atal ji first formed the Government at the Centre, no one was willing to offer support, and the Government fell in 13 days. But Atal ji did not lose hope and remained committed to serving the people. He showed the way when it came to coalition politics, the PM said.

The Prime Minister said that Vajpayee ji changed the global narrative on Kashmir. He highlighted the issue of terrorism and brought it to the centrestage globally.

The Prime Minister said that Atal ji shall remain an inspiration. He was away from public life and politics for over a decade and yet there was such an outpouring of emotion at his passing. This shows his greatness, the PM said. He noted that the young Indian wrestler, Bajrang Punia, who may never have met Atal ji, dedicated his gold medal at the Asian Games on August 19, 2018, to Atal ji. What greater heights and what greater success can a man achieve, PM Modi remarked.

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