New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday released a commemorative coin worth Rs. 100 as a tribute to late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a day before his 94th birth anniversary.
The commemorative coin has the Emblem of India on its front face while the reverse side of the coin has a portrait of Vajpayee and his name inscribed in both Devanagari and Roman.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said: “Our mind is not ready to believe that Atal Ji is no longer with us. He was a stalwart loved and respected across all sections of society.”
He further said that over decades Vajpayee’s voice remained the voice of the people. “As a speaker, he was unparalleled. He is among the best orators our nation has produced,” the Prime Minister added.
Prime Minister Modi stated that along part of Vajpayee’s career was spent in the opposition benches, but he always spoke about national interest.
“Atal Ji wanted democracy to be supreme. The party which Atalji built has become among the largest political parties. Generations of Karyakartas were fortunate to be mentored by him. Atal Ji built Jana Sangh but when the time came to rescue our democracy he and others went to Janata Party. Likewise, when the choice was between remaining in power or compromising on ideology, he left Janata Party and formed the BJP,” the Prime Minister added.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma, BJP national president Amit Shah and veteran BJP leader LK Advani were also present at the event.
Vajpayee passed away on August 16 at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in Delhi following a prolonged illness.
The veteran leader, who led the National Democratic Alliance government from 1998-2004, was the first ever person from the BJP to have become the Prime Minister. Vajpayee served as Prime Minister thrice — briefly in 1996, and then twice more, 1998-1999 and a full term between 1999 and 2004.
His birthday, which falls on December 25, is celebrated as ‘Good Governance Day’ by the BJP.