Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is no more. There are a lot of stories appearing in the media, the social media too. No doubt he is a great leader of his time. He stands aside from the rest of the former prime ministers. He stands by the side of late Lal Bahadur Sastri and P V Narasimha Rao, not the others.
Often his critics said that Vajpayee is a right leader representing a wrong party. Though he has the right wing ideology, he was, to some extent, a secular of his own style. He had the political values and his decision to quit after the no confidence motion was voted by one vote, shows how committed he was for values in politics. Being in power, he could have purchased some votes or MPs too, which he had not done.
He was instrumental in forming the present Bharatiya Janata Party with Jan Sangh and other Right wing forces in 1980s. He had built the party brick by brick over the years along with L K Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and others. Though Advani was a strong Right wing leader and had undertaken the Radh Yatra across the country for Ram Mandir, Vajpayee had his own reservations on that.
In fact, when Gujarat witnessed the heinous riots in 2002 with Narendra Modi as chief minister there, Vajpayee wanted Raj Dharma to be followed and was not happy with the incident. He was neither happy with the demolition of Babri Masjid either.
Even the strong critics of the BJP and the Right wing politics had some soft corner towards Vajpayee. His speeches in Parliament were of high political value and were a lesson to every politician there. His speeches at the public meetings were of fun and punch at the rivals. However, towards his critics, he was not as hard as his successors or for that matter the leaders of this time.
While being part of the Right wing forces, he had to face some criticism or opposition for his political career. But, he is a leader to be admired and followed. The country had lost such a great leader of the post-Independence. It is hard to find leaders of such character and calibre in the years to come.