Mann Ki Baat: Atal Bihari Vajpayee was most popular PM, says Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee will always be remembered as the best MP, sensitive writer, best orator and the most popular Prime Minister.He also credited Vajpayee with bringing good governance to the mainstream and for injecting positive political culture in India.

New Delhi : In his monthly Mann ki Baat address to the nation, Modi said Vajpayee, who died on August 16, was a true patriot and it was during his tenure that the timing of presenting the national budget was changed.

"Earlier, as was the British tradition, the budget used to be presented at 5 p.m. because in London Parliament used to start working at that time. In 2001, Atalji changed the time of presenting the budget to 11 a.m.," he said.

The Prime Minister added that Vajpayee framed the rules that made it possible to unfurl the tricolour in public places.

"This provided a chance to more and more of our countrymen to unfurl our national flag. Thus, he brought our beloved tricolour closer to the common man."

The Prime Minister added that the nation will also be grateful to Vajpayee for bringing the 91st Amendment Act, 2003, which restricted the size of the cabinet in states to 15 per cent of the total seats in the state Assembly and also increased the limit under the anti-defection law from one-third to two-third.

"For many years, the political culture of forming a very large cabinet was being misused to constitute jumbo cabinets ... to appease political leaders. Atalji changed it. This resulted in saving money as well as resources."

"I must say that developing healthy traditions for a sound democracy, making constant efforts to strengthen democracy, encouraging open-minded debates would also be appropriate tribute to Atalji," he added.