Ahead of Lok Sabha elections, BJP bets big on Vajpayee’s legacy

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday unveiled the life-size portrait of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Central Hall of Parliament.

Adhering to the Sangh’s ideology, Vajpayee’s portrait will be the second one of a leader to decorate the walls of the Central Hall. The NDA government led by him had put up the portrait of Veer Savarkar.

With an eye on the Lok Sabha elections, BJP has purportedly been playing up this card. This is the last Lok Sabha session before the general election. The decision to install the portrait of the Vajpayee was taken on December 18 at a meeting of Parliament’s Portrait Committee chaired by Sumitra Mahajan.

Vajpayee, a towering BJP leader, was the Prime Minister thrice – first for 13 days in 1996, then for 13 months from 1998 to 1999, and then from 1999 to 2004. He was Born on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP veteran passed away on August 16, 2018, after a prolonged illness.

On January 11-12, the conclave which had begun by paying homage to Vajpayee, his poetry and photos were featured prominently at the BJP national convention at Ramlila grounds.

“Ajay Bharat, Atal BJP” is one of the key slogans of the party for the polls. The BJP has named its meetings with grassroots workers as ‘Atal booth karyakarta sammellan’ which are addressed by party chief Amit Shah during the campaign.

Vajpayee ’s role as a prime minister was praised by the External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj during the Pravasi Bharatiya celebrations in Varanasi in January.

Since the BJP is likely to need more allies to return to power, his poems and his contribution as a politician are likely to be highlighted in the party’s literature being prepared for the campaign by a committee headed by Sushma Swaraj.