'Atal Nagar': Indian state to name its new capital after late PM Vajpayee

08:11 PM | 21 Aug, 2018
'Atal Nagar': Indian state to name its new capital after late PM Vajpayee
NEW DELHI - India's central state of Chhattisgarh has decided to name its new capital after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

State Chief Minister Raman Singh said the new capital would now be named Atal Nagar instead of Naya Raipur as a mark of respect for the former prime minister who died last week.

"A memorial of Atal ji will come up in Naya Raipur. A statue of Vajpayee will also be installed at Naya Raipur as well as in all 27 district headquarters of the state and a central park will be developed in Naya Raipur in the name of the former prime minister," Singh told the media in the current capital Raipur.

Vajpayee, the three-time prime minister, died last Thursday after prolonged illness, and was cremated with full state honors in the national capital on Friday.

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The former Indian premier, also a poet, was elected to Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) from Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow five times - 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004.

Vajpayee was the first non-Congress party prime minister since India's independence from colonial Britain in 1947 to complete an entire term in office between 1999 and 2004. He was loved by almost all Indian politicians, cutting across party lines.