Vajpayee memorial inaugurated; Kovind, Modi offer floral tributes

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NEW DELHI, Dec 25 (AGENCIES): Sadaiv Atal, a memorial of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was dedicated to the nation Tuesday on his 94th birth anniversary.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among the dignitaries who paid floral tributes to the former statesman at the memorial built near the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal, where his mortal remains were consigned to flames on August 17.

Vajpayee passed away in Delhi on August 16 after a prolonged illness. He was cremated with full state honours.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, family members of Vajpayee and BJP chief Amit Shah also offered flowers at the lotus-shaped memorial.

“Tributes to Atal Ji on his Jayanti. We reiterate our commitment towards creating the India he dreamt of,” Modi tweeted Tuesday.

Noted singer Pankaj Udhas recited devotional songs at the memorial here, while the dignitaries paid tributes.

Sadaiv (always) Atal memorial will be managed by a trust headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

A vacant piece of land was made available for the memorial at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal here by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.

Spread over 1.5 acres of land, the memorial was constructed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) at a cost of Rs 10.51 crore. The project was funded by the Atal Smriti Nyas Society.

The founding members of the Society include Mahajan, Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon, Gujarat Governor O P Kohli, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala,  BJP leaders Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Ram Lal.

The memorial is enclosed by nine bas-relief walls having inscriptions of poetries penned by Vajpayee.


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