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'He was a problem solver'
May 04, 2006 12:28 IST
For the last 12 days, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former central minister O Rajagopal has been visiting temples, praying and hoping that Pramod Mahajan would survive his brother Pravin's murderous attack.
BJP National Spokesman Prakash Javadekar stayed put in Mumbai after the attack, helping Mahajan's family and overseeing party leaders' visit to the Hinduja Hospital.
Rajagopal and Javadekar share their memories of Pramod Mahajan:
When the tragic incident took place, I was campaigning for the election in Kerala in my constituency in Palakkad.
Pramod was like my brother and son. We have been good friends. I last spoke with him some three weeks ago. I wanted Pramod to come to Kerala to campaign for the BJP here. He was then busy campaigning in Assam.
When I insisted he should come to campaign in Kerala, his reply was: "Rajagopalji, you will win this time, and the BJP will open its account in the state."
I have rare memories of my meetings with him while I was a minister in Delhi. His biggest asset was that he listened to you. He was sharp and he always gave instant answers to every problem. I think the biggest strength of a great politician is to resolve a problem at short notice. He was a problem solver.
He was a politician with courage, commitment and a modern outlook.
In Pramod's death, India has lost a bright politician and the BJP has lost a great leader.
Pramodji's death is the biggest shock in my life. I have never felt such a void in my life. It is not just me, hundreds and thousands of party workers have lost their dear leader.
For me, Pramodji was not just a leader and companion. He was a great friend with whom I could frankly talk about anything. My last assignment with him was to organise the BJP's poll campaign in Assam. I was in Assam for many days in March. Pramodji came to Assam and had a very hectic campaign across the state. I was with him most days. Often, whenever I heard him, I was amazed by his impressive speeches.
I will never hear him now.
O Rajagopal and Prakash Javadekar spoke to George Iype over the telephone.