‘Vajpayee had a large heart with a special corner for Odisha’

Bhubaneswar: The death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is a national loss as much as a personal loss, said Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today while paying tributes to the departed soul at an all-party & public prayer meeting held in Bhubaneswar.

Naveen remembered the iconic leader saying that he always had a large heart with a special corner for Odisha.

“I will always cherish my association with late Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji, especially as it was during my initial years in public life,” Naveen said.

Citing Vajpayee’s demise as truly the end of an era, Patnaik said he was a true democrat who chose to lose on the floor of the house upholding the values of our constitution.

Leaders cutting across party lines including Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik, Odisha BJP president Basant Panda, Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan & Jual Oram, senior BJD leader Damodar Rout among others graced the occasion and paid tributes to Vajpayee.

Several leaders remembered the veteran leader and narrated his contribution to Indian politics. Senior BJP leader Biswabhusan Harichandan said Vajpayee ji was unique and there was no other leader who could captivate people with charismatic speeches like him.

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Niranjan Patnaik said “Just as we have a sense of direction with the help of Dhruv star, people cutting across party lines used to learn political discipline, democratic values and nationalism from Vajpayee ji.”

Earlier on Thursday, as part of BJP’s ‘Asthi Kalash Yatra’ across the country, ashes of Vajpayee were immersed in Puri Mahodadhi.

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