Auckland, August 23, 2018
A special meeting to pay homage to former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be held tomorrow, Friday, August 24, 2018.
Organised by the ‘Overseas Friends of BJP’ in New Zealand, the programme will be held from 530 pm Mahatma Gandhi Centre, 145 New North Road, Eden Terrace.
Commencing with live music, the event will include prayers, messages and speeches and ‘Shradhanjali.’
Mr Vajpayee passed away in New Delhi on August 16, 2018 after a prolonged illness.
He was 93 years old.
He was a member of the Indian Parliament for over four decades, having been elected to the Lok Sabha, the Lower House, ten times, and twice to the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House. He served as the Member of Parliament for Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh until 2009 when he retired from active politics due to health concerns.
Mr Vajpayee was among the founding members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), of which he was the President from 1968 to 1972.
The BJS merged with several other parties to form the Janata Party, which won the 1977 general election.
Mr Vajpayee became External Affairs Minister in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Morarji Desai. He resigned in 1979, and the Janata alliance collapsed soon after.
The erstwhile members of the BJS formed the BJP in 1980, with Mr Vajpayee as its first President.
During his tenure as Prime Minister, India carried out the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998. Mr Vajpayee sought to improve diplomatic relations with Pakistan, travelling to Lahore by bus to meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
After the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan, he sought to restore relations through engaging with President Pervez Musharraf, inviting him to India for a summit at Agra.
He was conferred India’s highest civilian honour, the ’Bharat Ratna,’ by President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in 2015.
The administration of Narendra Modi declared in 2014 that Vajpayee’s birthday, December 25, 2018, would be marked as ’Good Governance Day.’
For any further information of tomorrow’s event, please email email@example.com