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Sonia Gandhi Remembers Vajpayee As a Towering Leader Who Stood for Democratic Values

Sonia Gandhi called Vajpayee a spell-binding orator, a leader of great vision and a patriot to the core for whom national interest was paramount.

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Updated:August 16, 2018, 10:32 PM IST
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Sonia Gandhi Remembers Vajpayee As a Towering Leader Who Stood for Democratic Values
File photo of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Sonia Gandhi. (Reuters)
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New Delhi: Former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday paid tributes to BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee, calling him a towering figure in national life and a leader with a great vision.

In a statement, Gandhi said, “Throughout his life, he [Vajpayee] stood for democratic values and demonstrated this commitment in all his acts, whether as a parliamentarian, a cabinet minister, or Prime Minister of India.

“He was a spell-binding orator, a leader of great vision, a patriot to the core for whom the national interest was paramount. But above all, he was a man with a very large heart and a real spirit of magnanimity,” she said.

The Congress leader said Vajpayee’s generosity was evident in his interactions with “other political parties and their leaders, with foreign governments, with coalition partners, and indeed with his own political colleagues, whom he always treated with respect and courtesy”.

Calling him a warm personality whose “gift of friendship won him admirers and friends across the political spectrum and from every walk of life”, Gandhi said Vajpayee’s death had “left behind a huge void”.

The former prime minister breathed his last at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Thursday. He was 93 and admitted to the hospital since June 11.

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