Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat paid tribute to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his first death anniversary on Friday, describing him as a great world leader. "As prime minister, he paved the way for the reorganisation of Uttarakhand as a separate state and had a deep sense of attachment with it. He also granted it the status of a special category state besides allocating a special industrial package to it. Uttarakhand will forever remain grateful to Ataji for what he did for the state," Rawat said.
"Atal ji was a great leader not just of India but of the world," he said, garlanding a picture of Vajpayee at his official residence. Rawat also remembered Vajpayee as the first foreign minister of India to deliver his speech in Hindi at the UN general meeting.
Crediting him for the successful nuclear testing at Pokharan, the chief minister said he gave the message of a strong India to the world through the move. He said India won the Kargil war under Vajpayee's resolute leadership which also gave a new direction to Indian economy.
Several important economic and infrastructural reforms were taken up during his tenure, including the golden quadrilateral project and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, to boost rural connectivity, the chief minister added. A prayer meeting was also held at the BJP's state office here to pay tribute to Vajpayee.
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