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National leaders paid tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 1st death anniversary

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NEW DELHI: A prayer meeting was held at Sadaiv Atal, the memorial to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on Friday to mark the first death anniversary of the former Prime Minister.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and members of Vajpayee’s family were amongst those who paid tributes to the BJP leader amid the playing of hymns and devotional music.

 

The memorial was dedicated to the nation in December last year. The central samadhi platform comprises nine square black polished granite stone blocks, capped with a diya in the centre.

Mr Vajpayee died on August 16 last year at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences after a long illness.

PM Modi had surprised many last year by walking four kilometres with the veteran’s funeral procession from the BJP office in Delhi to the Smriti Sthal, which is located close to the memorials of former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri. He was cremated with state honours and his ashes were immersed in various rivers across the country.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the tenth Prime Minister of India, led the National Democratic Alliance government from 1998 to 2004, was the first ever person from the BJP to have become the country’s Prime Minister. He served as Prime Minister thrice – briefly in 1996, and then for two terms between 1998 and 2004.

Mr Vajpayee had retreated from politics over the few years before his death because of his health.

Mr Vajpayee’s birthday anniversary, on December 25, is celebrated as ”Good Governance Day” by the party. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 2014.

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Rahul Gandhi: Accepting Less Than Scrapping Farm Laws Will Be Deceit To Farmers

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The Congress has stepped up the demand of immediately scrapping the farm laws in the wake of the farmers’ protest in the national capital. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet,”Accepting less than scrapping of three black farm laws will be deceit to farmers and the country.”

The Congress leader’s reaction comes even as the meeting between the farmers and the government is going on to resolve the issue.

Talks between the Centre and over 34 farmer union representatives has started here, even as the farmers protest entered the eighth straight day with thousands sitting on different Delhi borders blocking essential supply chains to the city.

Like the previous round of talks held on December 1, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal are leading the meeting, which is expected to play a major role in farmers’ future course of action on whether they would continue the protest or withdraw it.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union, Bharatiya Kisan Sanyukta Morcha and Krantikari Kisan Union are among over the 34 farm union representatives taking part in the meeting, which started around 12.30 p.m.

The fourth round of meetings with the farmer leaders started at Vigyan Bhawan after the earlier talks remained inconclusive on December 1.

In the last meeting, the farmers’ representatives had unanimously rejected the Centre’s proposal of a special committee to resolve concerns over the farm laws.

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