President Pranab Mukherjee presented the prestigious “Bharat Ratna” to former Prime Minster Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The president, deviating from the protocol and with the exception of the delicate health problem of the veteran BJP leader, visited his residence in Lutyens’s Delhi to confer him the country’s highest civilian honour.
Earlier in the day, Home Minister Rajnath Singh described former Prime Minsiter as an international icon who is respected and loved by one and all. The Home Minister said it is a matter of immense happiness for the whole country that the former Prime Minister is being bestowed with the Bharat Ratna.
“Our former Prime Minister Vajpayee is not only just an Indian statesman but an international icon who is respected and loved by everyone,” Mr. Singh told reporters in New Delhi, adding, “His personality, his oratory skill, his honesty and humility signify his greatness. He is a great human being.”
The ailing BJP founder member Vajpayee has been credited for taking bold initiatives notable being the historic bus journey to Lahore in 1999 when he signed the landmark Lahore Declaration with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with both sides pledging to push for peace and security.
The government had announced in December last year, the decision to confer Bharat Ratna on Vajpayee and educationist Madan Mohan Malaviya.