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Bharat Ratna conferred on Vajpayee

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, March 27 � Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a statesman who endeared himself to people across the political spectrum, was today conferred with Bharat Ratna, the country�s highest civilian award, at a special function at his residence, reports PTI.

In a rare departure from protocol, President Pranab Mukherjee, himself a veteran Parliamentarian, drove to Vajpayee�s residence at Krishna Menon Marg in Lutyens� Delhi to confer the honour at a simple ceremony as he is ailing and has been out of public life for about eight years.

The brief event took place in the presence select dignitaries including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and close family members that included his foster son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya and foster daughter Namita. The event was kept out of media glare.

The citation read out at the occasion described Vajpayee as a statesman known for a subtle sharpness that engages, attracts and brings many together. In his six-decade-long political career, five of which in Parliament, Vajpayee was elected to Lok Sabha 10 times and twice to Rajya Sabha.

Prime Minister from 1998 to 2004, Vajpayee has faded from public life due to age-related illness.

Considered the moderate face of BJP, he has been credited with taking bold initiatives for forging good ties with Pakistan which included historic bus journey to Lahore in 1999 when he signed the landmark Lahore Declaration with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with both sides pledging to push for peace and security.

After the presentation of award, tea was hosted for a select group of leaders who were invited for the function that included former President APJ Abdul Kalam, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP leader LK Advani, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and Chief Ministers Prakash Singh Badal (Punjab), Mufti Mohammed Sayeed (J&K), N Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh) and Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan).

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Bharat Ratna conferred on Vajpayee

NEW DELHI, March 27 � Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a statesman who endeared himself to people across the political spectrum, was today conferred with Bharat Ratna, the country�s highest civilian award, at a special function at his residence, reports PTI.

In a rare departure from protocol, President Pranab Mukherjee, himself a veteran Parliamentarian, drove to Vajpayee�s residence at Krishna Menon Marg in Lutyens� Delhi to confer the honour at a simple ceremony as he is ailing and has been out of public life for about eight years.

The brief event took place in the presence select dignitaries including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and close family members that included his foster son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya and foster daughter Namita. The event was kept out of media glare.

The citation read out at the occasion described Vajpayee as a statesman known for a subtle sharpness that engages, attracts and brings many together. In his six-decade-long political career, five of which in Parliament, Vajpayee was elected to Lok Sabha 10 times and twice to Rajya Sabha.

Prime Minister from 1998 to 2004, Vajpayee has faded from public life due to age-related illness.

Considered the moderate face of BJP, he has been credited with taking bold initiatives for forging good ties with Pakistan which included historic bus journey to Lahore in 1999 when he signed the landmark Lahore Declaration with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with both sides pledging to push for peace and security.

After the presentation of award, tea was hosted for a select group of leaders who were invited for the function that included former President APJ Abdul Kalam, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP leader LK Advani, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and Chief Ministers Prakash Singh Badal (Punjab), Mufti Mohammed Sayeed (J&K), N Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh) and Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan).