Indore: Relatives of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee were overwhelmed with joy after the veteran BJP leader was on Friday conferred the Bharat Ratna.
"Atalji is our family's refuge. We are celebrating the country's highest civilian honour given to him. Our family will gather in New Delhi and congratulate him on the big honour," Vajpayee's niece Mala Tiwari said here.
She said her uncle was worthy of Bharat Ratna and he should have been bestowed with the honour some years ago.
"Had the previous UPA government decorated Atalji with the honour, its image would have grown greater," she said.
Another niece Sandhya Shukla said, "I don't have words to express my joy over Atalji getting Bharat Ratna. I wanted to make it to the award ceremony to be a witness to the glorious moment, but I could not travel to New Delhi as my mother-in-law is unwell."
"Though he has been active in politics, he took time out to remain connected with relatives," she said and recalled that despite his hectic schedule, the former prime minister had made it to her marriage ceremony in 1977 at Gwalior.