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NE States pay homage to Vajpayee

By The Assam Tribune

GUWAHATI, Aug 17 - Along with the rest of the country, the North Eastern States today paid rich homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who passed away yesterday. Our Correspondents and PTI report:

IMPHAL: Manipur joined the nation in mourning the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on Thursday. The State Government declared a holiday on Friday as a mark of respect to the departed leader. A seven-day state mourning is being observed since Thursday.

In a condolence message, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said that Vajpayee had left a mark of his own during his long public life. A statesman and a towering figure in Indian politics, Vajpayee was an MP for over four decades � 10 times in the Lok Sabha and twice in the Rajya Sabha, he added.

The Chief Minister also remembered the former Prime Minister as a man of sharp intellect and outstanding wit. Renowned for his powerful oratory and poetry, Vajpayee would continue to inspire all Indians, Singh said, adding that in his passing away, India has lost a great leader who had redefined politics.

Meanwhile, the Manipur BJP committee held a condolence prayer and meeting at its head office at Keishampat here. Former MLA and BJP national executive member Meinam Bhorot remembered the State unit�s interaction with the great leader in the 1980s. Social Welfare Minister Nemcha Kipgen and other party leaders also attended the condolence meeting.

The Manipur unit of the Lok Jana Shakti party also held a condolence meeting which was chaired by Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Karam Shyam. The Janata Dal (U) also mourned the death of the former Prime Minister.

Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar and former Rajya Sabha member BD Behring also condoled Vajpajyee�s demise.

AIZAWL: Mizoram also mourned the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Late on Thursday night, the Governor of Mizoram declared a holiday on Friday for all government offices, public sector undertakings and educational institutions under the Government of Mizoram as a mark of respect to the departed leader.

The late Prime Minister is also being accorded a seven-day state mourning with effect from August 16, during which the National Flag will be flown half mast and there will no official entertainment.

In his condolence message, the Mizoram Governor said: �It is extremely sad that our former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee � a statesman par excellence, a highly creative and talented poet and a thinker with the courage of conviction is no longer with us. As the Minister of External Affairs he was instrumental in making good relations with our counterparts. During his tenure as the Prime Minister of our country, his administration and skills helped our country to sail through one of the most difficult times. Salute to one of the greatest leader to lead our country, I convey my deepest condolences.�

In his condolence message, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said: �I am deeply shocked and saddened by the demise of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The country has lost a great statesman and a stalwart of Indian politics. He was an exceptional orator and his contribution to literature through his poems and writings will be his lasting legacy. I offer my sincerest condolences to his family in this time of grief and pray that God Almighty grant them strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.�

SHILLONG: The Meghalaya Government also declared a State holiday on Friday to mourn the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who passed away on Thursday.

All schools, colleges and government offices and establishments remained closed during the day and the Tricolour flew at half mast.

Governor Ganga Prasad, in his condolence message, said: �in the passing away of the former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee due to age related ailments, the nation lost an able parliamentarian, a statesman par excellence and an extraordinary human being.�

The Governor added that the nation would gratefully remember his phenomenal contributions during his stint as the Prime Minister of India between 1999 and 2004, notably the Pokhran nuclear test, his role during the Kargil War, and the initiation of the Golden Quadrilateral road project.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said that he is �deeply saddened� by the passing away of the former Prime Minister.

�Vajpayee will be remembered for his keen interest to develop the North Eastern States, as was evident when he held a daylong brainstorming (session) on socio-economic development of the North Eastern States with his key ministers, LK Advani, Yashwant Sinha, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission KC Pant and Governors and Chief Ministers of the northeastern states, here in Shillong on January 21, 2000,� Sangma added.

Under Vajpayee, the Central Government created a separate department of the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) to ensure all-round development in the region and initiated the East-West corridor connecting Silchar in Assam with Porbandar in Gujarat, the Chief Minister said.

�On behalf of the people of Meghalaya and from the family members of my late father Purno Agitok Sangma, I send our deepest condolences and sympathies to his (Vajpayee�s) family members. I pray to the Almighty to give the family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss. I wish the departed soul an eternal peace,� Sangma said in his message.

Minister in charge of Health and the lone BJP legislator in the Meghalaya Cabinet, AL Hek, in his message, said that Vajpayee was his political mentor.

Agartala: The Tripura Government declared a holiday on Friday as a mark of respect to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, reports PTI.

A notification issued on Thursday night said all government offices, educational institutes and banks run by the State Government would remain closed on Friday. The State Government also declared a state mourning for seven days with effect from Thursday. Throughout the mourning period, the National Flag will fly at half mast, it said.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb flew to New Delhi and paid floral tribute to the late leader. In a message Deb said: �We lost a great statesman of the country. His demise is an irreparable loss to the country.�

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