Arunachal assembly pays tributes to Vajpayee

ITANAGAR, Aug 27: The Arunachal Pradesh legislative assembly on Monday paid rich tributes to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on 16 August.
Speaker Tenzing Norbu Thongdok led the House in paying tributes to Vajpayee on the inaugural day of the 16th session of the 6th Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
Initiating the obituary reference, Speaker Thongdok said, “Vajpayee, born in the family of a humble school teacher on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior, did his graduation and post-graduation in political science from Victoria College in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, and at the DAV College in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. He began his political career as a freedom fighter during the Quit India Movement of 1942 to 1945. He was the first and the only non-Congress prime minister to serve a full five-year term from 1999 to 2004; and for short periods of 13 days in 1996 and 13 months in 1998.
“As the external affairs minister in Prime Minister Morarji Desai’s government, Vajpayee had earned much fame by delivering his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in Hindi.
“The country has lost an excellent leader and a great poet with his demise,” the speaker said.
In his speech, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said, “Vajpayee, who lived a life of a saint, had realized that India could not develop in real sense without development of Northeastern region of the country.”
Recalling Vajpayee’s contributions, Mein said, “Today, most of the rural villages in the state are connected with roads under the Prime Minister Gramin Sadak Yojana, which was initiated during the tenure of Vajpayee as prime minister.
“Vajpayee’s principle of ‘country first, party last’ had won the hearts of millions,” Mein said, and appealed to all the members of the House to follow the footstep of Vajpayee for prosperous Arunachal.
Taking part in the obituary reference, former chief minister Nabam Tuki, citing the creation of the DoNER ministry during the tenure of Vajpayee as PM, said, “The contributions of former prime minister Vajpayee for the development of the country were enormous. Bharat Ratna Vajpayee was not only the best parliamentarian, but the best orator also.”
Describing him as great son of the soil, Land Management Minister Nabam Rebia said it was Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who came out with ambitious schemes like PMGSY. “The DoNER and the tribal affairs ministries were also created during the tenure of Vajpayee as prime minister,” Rebia recalled.
Members Japu Deru, Kento Rina, Tage Taki, Paknga Bage, Pani Taram, Tesam Pongte, Rajesh Tacho, Thangham Wangham, Tapang Taloh, Takam Pario, Tanga Byaling, Lombo Tayeng, Wanglin Lowangdong, Honchun Ngandam, Dr Mohesh Chai, Alo Libang, and Bamang Felix also took part in the discussion.
Recalling the contributions of Vajpayee, such as the launch of the PMGSY, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, East-West Corridor, creation of the DoNER ministry, the Pokhran nuclear test, the renewed initiative for peace with Pakistan, and his lecture in Hindi at the UN General Assembly, most of the members described Vajpayee as the best orator, the best parliamentarian, a poet par excellence, and, above all, a humanist.
The House later observed a two-minute silence and passed a resolution condoling the demise of Vajpayee before the speaker adjourned the proceedings for the day.