Vajpayee will always be Atal for the people of Lucknow

first_imgFormer Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died on Thursday after prolonged illness but his memories will always be alive in the hearts of people living in Lucknow. After completing post graduation from the DAV college in Kanpur the veteran BJP leader shifted to the state capital and began his political journey from here.In 1950, Vajpayee lived for few years at Kalantri Niwas, Marwadi Gali in Aminabad area of Lucknow.Speaking to India Today, Rajendra Gopal Kalantri said,”After finishing his post graduation , Vajpayee used to live at his residence for few years. My father Krishna Gopal shared a good bond with the former PM. During his stint in the RSS, the former PM used to hold meetings with Deen Dayal Upadhyay and other co-founders of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh at my residence.””In 1952, Vajpayee decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections for the first time and the decision was taken at ‘Kalantri Niwas’. He was very fond of food and used to tell my mother to make sweets for him most of the times. During his public rallies in Lucknow he used to speak about my residence and ‘Marwadi Gali’ quite often. Atal Ji was a food lover and used to visit various shops in narrow lanes of the old city of Lucknow,” added Kalantri.Kamla, wife of Rajendra Kalantri also shared her memories of the veteran BJP leader.According to her, Vajpayee was like her father-in-law. He was very fond of poetries and used to encourage others to read and write.advertisementHe may have died but his memories will always remain afresh in the hearts of people who have seen him, said Kamla.Shambhu sweet shop in Aminabad was one of his favourite eating joint. He used to go there to have sweets, rabri and milk with other colleagues from the Jan Sangh.”My grandfather and father used to tell me about Vajpayee during childhood. He came at my shop almost everyday for few years for sweets and milk. It’s quite unfortunate that a personality like him is no more with us,” added Ram Swarup who runs the shop now.Vajpayee was a five time MP from Lucknow but his political legacy from this place was taken forward by his trusted Lieutenant Lalji Tandon. Tandon won the Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow in 2009 after the former PM couldn’t contest the elections due to health issues.Speaking to India Today, Tandon said,”I had a great emotional bond with Vajpayee. He used to take me for his rallies and events across Lucknow. Even after becoming PM, he was easily accessible to people from all sections of the society. No other leader can match his leadership and oratory skills.”UP deputy CM and former Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma also shared his memories about Vajpayee’s love for food and his sporting nature.”I was very young when Atal Ji visited my house to meet my father. His favourite sweet dish (kheer) was made and inadvertently it fell on his clothes while I was serving him. I got scared but he started pampering me. He loved to mingle with people and enjoy quintessential street food. His demise is an irreparable loss for the natioN,” said Sharma.”He was extremely fond of chat, thandai and khichdi. He was very fond of poetry and listening songs of Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. He also used to cook food for some of the people close to him. There cannot be another politician like him ” said Mir Jafar Abdullah, one of the living Nawabs in Lucknow.Vajpayee was also a journalist and served as the editor of monthly magazine ‘Rashtradharm’ from 1947 TO 1950.Speaking to India Today, managing director of the magazine said,”Vajpayee Ji was very fond of writing from an early age. He has written so much about history and emergency. He was a brilliant orator. In 2015, a special edition was published by the magazine to honour him. It was personally handed over by our colleagues to him in Delhi. Even after becoming PM, he used to inquire about the magazine. He was a great leader who has contributed immensely for the society.”Watch | Atal Bihari Vajpayee cremated with full state honourslast_img

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