"Atalji's life was for the people of India. In his youth itself he had decided that he wanted to serve his fellow Indians. He entered politics when only one party dominated the political discourse," the PM said.
"He spent several years in the opposition, but never compromised his ideology. His efforts ensured that India became a nuclear power and attributed the tests to the brilliance of our scientists. He never buckled under pressure. He was Atal after all," the PM said.
He added, "When he formed governmetn for 13 days, no party was willing to support him. As a result the government fell. Yesterday, Bajrang Punia (wrestler), who I think has never seen him, dedicated his gold medal to Atalji. I think this says a lot about his personality."
Senior BJP leader LK Advani spoke next saying, "I have addressed several public meetings, but I had never thought that I will once have to address a meeting like this, a meeting where Atalji would not be there.
"I consider myself fortunate that my friendship with Atalji lasted for 65 years during which I watched him closely. Working together, we shared our experiences, watched films together and read books together."
Police on Friday used tear gas to disperse Haryana farmers heading towards Khanauri on Punjab's border with the state where farmers, mostly from Punjab, have been camping since last week after their 'Delhi Chalo' march was halted by...