By Prarthana Mitra
After Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra government on Thursday staked a claim to build a memorial for former Prime Minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away in Delhi on August 16.
Vajpayee’s ashes, to be immersed in rivers across the country, were distributed amongst BJP leaders of Maharashtra on Thursday by CM Devendra Fadnavis. During the condolence meeting, he declared the cabinet’s decision to honour the leader by building a memorial in his loving memory in Mumbai.
“Atal-ji showed us the path of loving this country, doing something for it. We can pay homage to him by walking on that path,” Fadnavis said, adding that the details of the monument will be worked out soon.
A revered figure among his party men as well as in the opposition, the meeting saw impassioned eulogies for Vajpayee, from present and some former BJP leaders. “Vajpayee gave first priority to the country, then to the party and then to the self. He not only talked but lived that ideology,” Fadnavis said, recalling the urban development work, employment programmers and infrastructural initiatives the Vajpayee-led government had taken.
Further in memoriam
Prior to this, a Vajpayee statue has been proposed to be installed on the historic Ridge in Shimla. Besides, the Himachal Pradesh government has also petitioned to rename Rohtang Tunnel after the former Prime Minister. Chattisgarh is also likely to commemorate the late BJP and RSS leader with a statue in Naya Raipur and rename the city Atal Nagar.
Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath has gone a step further, announcing four memorials in memory of Vajpayee across the northern state. Announcements to erect similar memorials in Bhopal and Gwalior were also made by Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He also intends to transform Gorki Government Higher Secondary School in Gwalior, where the PM studied briefly, into a centre of academic excellence.
In other news, Jawaharlal Nehru University just named its new management school after Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius