New Delhi(PTI): As former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee turned 93 today, greetings poured in for the veteran statesman, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the first to meet him at his residence here.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also wished Vajpayee on his birthday.
“Visited Atal ji to convey birthday greetings to him.
Spent time with his family as well,” the prime minister wrote on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, Modi credited Vajpayee’s phenomenal and visionary leadership which “further raised our prestige at the world stage. I pray for his good health”.
Naidu posted a poem in Hindi on Twitter by the former prime minister, who is keeping indifferent health and has not been seen in public for a long time now. The poem urged people to remain united and not to give up hope in tough times.
BJP president Amit Shah and Home minister Rajnath Singh also visited Vajapayee’s residence to greet him.
“Visited Atal ji’s home to wish him on his birthday,” Shah said in a tweet.
“Warm wishes to our beloved leader and guide, Shri Atalji on his birthday today. Atalji is a towering and visionary leader who introduced good governance, development and politics of performance in Indian polity. I pray for his good health and long life,” Home minister Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also wished the BJP veteran well on his birthday.
“Warm birthday wishes to Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. A visionary leader who called for peace, progress & prosperity in J&K by imbibing the spirit of Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat & Kashmiriyat,” Mehbooba said on Twitter.
Several union ministers, including Ravi Shankar Prasad, Arun Jaitley, Smriti Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman, also greeted Vajpayee.
The prime minister also payed tributes to freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya on his birth anniversary.
“His impact on India’s history is strong and unforgettable. His efforts to further education and a spirit of patriotism will always be remembered,” Modi said in a tweet.
Born in 1924, Vajpayee entered politics during the Quit India movement in 1942. He was the first external affairs minister to deliver a speech in the UN Assembly in Hindi.
Vajpayee was elected to Lok Sabha from Lucknow in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004. He is the first and the only non- Congress leader who completed his full term as prime minister.