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He Was My Closest Friend for 65 Years… Miss Him': Advani on Vajpayee's Demise

Advani said he was at a loss of words to express his deep grief and sadness on the passing away of one of India’s tallest statesmen, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

News18

Updated:August 19, 2018, 10:37 AM IST
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He Was My Closest Friend for 65 Years… Miss Him': Advani on Vajpayee's Demise
File photo of Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani. (Image: Reuters)
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New Delhi: They were seen as the left and right hands of the BJP for decades and the passing away of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has come as a personal loss for his deputy Lal Krishna Advani. Describing Vajpayee as his “closest friend for 65 years”, Advani said that he would miss his friend and former colleague immensely.

“I am at a loss of words to express my deep grief and sadness today as we all mourn the passing away of one of India’s tallest statesmen, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. To me, Atalji was more than a senior colleague- in fact he was my closest friend for over 65 years,” he said in a statement.

Recalling the days he and Vajpayee spent working as RSS pracharaks, Advani said, “I cherish the memories of my long association with him, right from our days as Pracharaks of the RSS, to the inception of Bharatiya Jana Singh, the struggle of the dark months during the Emergency leading to the formation of Janata Party and later the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980,” he said.

“Atalji will be remembered as the pioneer of the first ever stable non-Congress coalition government at the Centre and I had the privilege of working as his deputy for six years. As my senior, he always encouraged and guided me in every possible manner,” he added.

Advani said Vajpayee’s captivating leadership qualities, mesmerising oratory, soaring patriotism and above all, his sterling humane qualities like compassion, humility and his remarkable ability to win over adversories despite ideological differences have all had a profound effect on him in all his years in public life.

“I will miss Atalji immensely…”

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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