Atal Bihari vajpayee
Former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.Reuters

President Pranab Mukherjee conferred former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Bharat Ratna, which is the country's highest civilian award, on Friday, 27 March.

The prestigious honour was bestowed to the nonagenarian leader at his residence in Krishna Menon Marg, New Delhi, as he is keeping poor health. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the president for taking a break from protocol and coming to the veteran BJP leader's residence.

"Vajpayee's life was dedicated to the nation... He lived for the country...Hhis every moment was for the country. For all karyakartas (BJP workers) like me, Vajpayee-ji has been an inspiration and will remain so. His life will continue to inspire us," IANS quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

Apart from PM Modi and President Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former President APJ Abdul Kalam, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and veteran BJP leader LK Advani have also attended the ceremony.

According to reports, Jammu & Kashmir CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandra Babu Naidu were also present besides Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat and Janata Dal-United leader Sharad Yadav.

In 2014, the Modi government had declared the veteran parliamentarian's birthday, which falls on 25 December, as Good Governance Day.