Bengaluru: Several BJP leaders paid tribute to former Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee at a condolence meeting held by the state unit of the party here on Friday. Senior BJP leaders Ramachandra Gowda, D.H. Shankaramurthy, R. Ashok and party general secretary N.Ravikumar were among those present. Shankaramurthy, former LC chairman, recalled his long association with Vajpayee since 1982. “Whenever Vajpayee visited Shivamogga for public meetings, he stayed in my house and mingled with us like mu family member,” he said.
Murthy also recalled the suicide by a BJP worker in Bhadravati following Vajpayee’s defeat in the then Lok Sabha elections."I telephoned Vajpayeeji in Delhi and informed him about the death of the BJP worker. He was shocked and told me that he would visit his family and he did,” Mr Murthy said. His other memory was of the unconditional support that the BJP with 15 seats in the state Assembly in 1984 offered the Janata Party government headed by Ramakrishna Hegde on Vajpayee’s insistence.
“ Both Congress and Janata party leaders were surprised by his announcement. But he did this to stop the Congress from coming to power through the backdoor, and he later convinced us about his decision,” Murthy recalled. Appreciating Vajpayee for dedicating his life to the party and nation, Ashok said that it was because of his contribution that the party had managed to come to power on its own at the Centre.
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