Will miss my closest friend for 65 years immensely: Advani

PTI

In this Jan 8, 2004, file photo former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with the then Dy PM LK Advani and Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Vajpayee, 93, passed away on Aug 16, 2018 (PTI Photo)

In this Jan 8, 2004, file photo former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with the then Dy PM LK Advani and Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Vajpayee, 93, passed away on Aug 16, 2018 (PTI Photo)

Veteran BJP leader L K Advani, who along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a central figure in the party for much of its existence, today described the former prime minister as one of the country’s tallest statesmen and his closest friend for over 65 years whom he will miss immensely.

Vajpayee’s captivating leadership qualities, mesmerising oratory, soaring patriotism and above all, his sterling humane qualities like compassion, humility and his remarkable ability to win over adversaries despite ideological differences have all had a profound effect on him, Advani said in his condolence message.

“I cherish the memories of my long association with him, right from our days as pracharaks of the RSS, to the inception of Bharatiya Jana Singh, the struggle of the dark months during the Emergency leading to the formation of Janata Party and later the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980,” he said.

Advani said he was at loss for words to express his deep grief and sadness.

file photo former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and BJP senior leader LK Advani at a lunch in New Delhi.  (PTI Photo)

file photo former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen with the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and BJP senior leader LK Advani at a lunch in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

“Atalji will be remembered as the pioneer of the first ever stable non-Congress coalition government at the Centre and I had the privilege of working as his deputy for six years. As my senior, he always encouraged and guided me in every possible manner,” he said.

The deputy prime minister in the Vajpayee government said he will miss him immensely.

(PTI)