Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan has offered floral tributes to the portrait of former prime minister Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee, on his 98th birth anniversary, also celebrated as ‘Good Governance Day’ at a programme held in Durbar Hall in Raj Bhavan on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Harichandan said that during his tenure as Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, made an impact on the infrastructure development in the country with the launch of his dream project, the ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ also known as ‘Swarna Chaturbhuj,’ the highspeed national highways project connecting the four metropolitan cities of the country. His great contribution was the free distribution of 10 kg rice to poor elderly people above 60 years of age who had nobody to support them, said the Governor. He said Vajpayee was a great orator and he had the privilege of accompanying Vajpayee on his tour to different parts of Odisha and also attended the National Executive and when Sri Vajpayee was addressing, lakhs of people listened to him spell-bound. There is no such orator yet in India who can surpass Vajpayee’s oratory skills and he also had the privilege of attending meetings along with him and addressing the gathering before him and thereafter Atalji would start his speech, said the Governor.
Governor Harichandan said many prestigious landmark projects were started during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana connecting rural villages, ‘Sarva Siksha Abhiyan’ to improve the quality of primary and secondary education and India made history with the successful conduct of five nuclear tests on May 11 to May 13 in 1998. When two atomic tests had been conducted initially the big powers of the world pounced on Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he did not say anything, and thereafter on 13th May, the mission was followed up with three more tests and after making five tests, he boldly announced before the world that India is now an atomic power and that India had no intention of attacking any country and no country can henceforward venture to attack India, said the Governor.
Vajpayee also said that he was not bothered by the economic sanctions imposed on the country by the Big Powers, as a consequence of the atomic tests and that “we are capable of building our country with the resources available to us,” he added.
He further said that at that time the NRIs in America congratulated Sri Atal Behari Vajpayee for the great honour he had given to the country and the people and now they can live with their heads held high with pride and dignity. The Big powers relented later and decided that no problem at the International-level can be resolved without the intervention of India and the first invitation to visit was sent to Atal Bihar Vajpayee by the President of America.
The Governor said Vajpayee is a great leader whose contribution to the development of the country can never be forgotten and many welfare programmes started by him are still being continued.
PS Suryaprakash, the Joint Secretary, and other officers and staff members of Raj Bhavan were present on the occasion.