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Vajpayee conferred Bharat Ratna

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Vajpayee conferred Bharat Ratna
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New Delhi: Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was on Friday conferred the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian honour, by President Pranab Mukherjee at a brief ceremony at his home.

In a departure from protocol, Mukherjee drove to Vajpayee’s residence at Krishna Memon Marg in Lutyens’ Delhi and presented to the ailing BJP leader the prestigious award, the country’s highest civilian honour.

The event, which was attended by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with some close family members, was kept away from the media glare.

Vajpayee, who was Prime Minister from 1998 to 2004, and has faded from public life due to age-related illness, is lauded as a statesman and has been often described as the moderate face of BJP.

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