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Saturday, 27 December 2014

An epoch in India’s history associated with Vajpayee: Putin...........

INDIA: A day after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee was awarded with Bharat Ratna, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the ailing leader describing him as an eminent statesman and a man of enormous knowledge. 

In a message to wish Vajpayee on his 90th birthday, Putin said, "a whole epoch in India's modern history was associated with Vajpayee's name." Vajpayee and Putin were the main architects of the Declaration of Strategic Partnership agreement which the two leaders signed in 2000. The agreement paved the way for annual summit meetings between the two countries. 

"At home and abroad, you deservedly enjoy esteem not only as an eminent statesman and political figure who headed government of India for many years but also as a talented poet, a man of enormous knowledge and highest cultural standards," said Putin in his message. 

"Your contribution to the development of Russian-Indian cooperation can hardly be overestimated. The declaration of strategic partnership between our countries signed during your term as Prime Minister has elevated bilateral relations to a qualitatively new level and has predetermined their further fruitful development," he added, as he wished Vajpayee good health and long life.


BJP party workers celebrate Atal Bihari Vajpayee's 90th birthday at BJP HQ on Thursday. (TOI Photo: Bhagirath Basnet) 

During his summit meeting with PM Narendra Modi earlier this month, Modi recalled the fact that Putin and Vajpayee launched the annual summit process in 2000. Modi said that India's strategic partnership with Russia was "incomparable in content" as he described Putin as a leader of a great nation with which "we have a friendship of unmatched mutual confidence, trust and goodwill". 

Earlier in the day, Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif too congratulated Vajpayee saying that the Delhi-Lahore bus service would not have been possible without Vajpayee. The two leaders had also signed the Lahore Declaration in 1999.