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Advani says he misses Vajpayee

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader L K Advani on Wednesday night said he feels "awkward" attending functions where he feels his long-time associate and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee should have been present.

"I feel awkward at programmes where Vajpayeeji should have been …but he can`t attend," Advani said here at the launch of a project to compile the works of Vajpayee in a digital format.

He said at today`s programme Vajpayee should ideally have been present as it was aimed at recognising his contribution to Indian polity.

"There was a function recently to launch my book…he was not there," Advani said.

Recalling his association with Vajpayee, he said they first met in 1948 and worked hard in Delhi to ensure the victory of Bharatiya Jan Sangh candidate in Delhi`s corporation elections in 1953.

"We lost…to drown our sorrows, we went to a movie together at Paharganj`s Imperial cinema. Incidentally, the Raj Kapoor movie was titled phir subah hogi…and we finally came to power at the Centre," he said.

Launching the project, former President A P J Abdul Kalam said Vajpayee often used to ask him how "your Pokhran is" and he used to answer "bahut sundar hai" (It`s beautiful).

He credited the former PM with Pokhran II nuclear implosion "which lit up several suns in the earth`s belly".

JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav recalled Vajpayee`s fondness for food.

"At any meeting, he used to taste the snacks. Though there were instructions to serve him litle, he used to ask for more," he said while crediting him with "guiding" him to Lok Sabha.

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