In a rare and nostalgia-filled video that has begun to trend on the internet hours after the demise of former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he can be seen sharing a quite special hug with current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The video takes us back several years and speaks volumes for the unique bond that the former Prime Minister had with PM Modi, who back then, hadn't even begun his 13-year-spell as Gujarat's Chief Minister, and was a BJP karyakarta.
The video begins with Vajpayee seemingly making his way through a crowd of people who were shaking his hands and offering him garlands. Later, Vajpayee, who can be seen standing in front of a few media-mics is, out of nowhere, greeted with a hug by the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi! Vajpayee, who just manages to glimpse PM Modi approaching, can be seen playfully raising his hand as if to discipline a naughty pupil, before the two embrace, showing their fondness for each other. After the hug, PM Modi takes Vajpayee's hand, kisses it and places it on his forehead.
Paying an emotional tribute to the former Prime Minister in a televised address on Thursday evening, PM Modi, perhaps, had this touching moment in mind, when he remembered that, like a father, Vajpayee would always hug him when they met.
The bond that former PM Vajpayee and current PM Modi shared was evident by the concern the latter showed during Vajpayee's final two months which were spent in AIIMS. PM Modi visited his forerunner five times during the period and has always maintained that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a mentor-figure for him.
In his tweets after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away, PM Modi said 'His passing away marks the end of an era', adding, "Atal Ji's passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me. I have countless fond memories with him. He was an inspiration to Karyakartas like me. I will particularly remember his sharp intellect and outstanding wit"
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was under the care of a team of AIIMS doctors for nine weeks following being admitted to the premier medical institute on June 11 over respiratory and kidney-related ailments. Following his admission, a number of political leaders visited him including fellow former Prime Ministers Dr. Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandra Babu Naidu, party presidents of BJP and Congress, Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi respectively, as well as Union Ministers including Rajnath Singh, J P Nadda, and Harsh Vardhan also visited AIIMS.