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Sonakshi Sinha, Parmanu's Diana Penty pay tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Sinha had met Vajpayee as a child and found the former PM captivating; Penty said India would not have been a nuclear state without his leadership.

Diana Penty and Sonakshi Sinha in Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi

Mayur Lookhar

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who died in New Delhi on Thursday aged 93 and was cremated today, has been mourned by people from all walks of life. Actor and fellow Bharatiya Janata Party member Shatrughan Sinha paid tribute to the late leader.

“End of an era... what an excellent human being! One of the greatest parliamentarians, an exemplary orator and exceptional thrice PM of India,” Sinha tweeted yesterday.

A day later, we spoke to the estranged BJP politician's daughter Sonakshi Sinha who also paid tribute to the veteran leader.

"I met him a couple of times when I was a child," the actress said. "The most I know of him is through my father, who holds him in such high regard. There is nobody whom he respected more in the party. He really follows his values and principles. I remember when I met him as a child, he was someone you wouldn’t want to stop listening to. He just held your attention, he spoke good, intelligent things. He was a captivating personality."

Sinha was out to promote her next film Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi. Her co-star Diana Penty never met Vajpayee, but she recently starred in the film Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran (2018), which was based on India’s successful nuclear tests of May 1998.

These tests would never have been possible without Vajpayee's backing, she said. Vajpayee was the prime minister at the time.

In the film, director Abhishek Sharma used archival footage and speeches of Vajpayee.

“I read so much about him [Vajpayee] and the mission that happened in 1998 while I was researching for the film," Penty said. "It just opened my mind to so much stuff that I wasn’t aware of. So, my respect for him is just, I can’t explain in words. We wouldn’t have been the nuclear state that we are today if it  wasn’t for him.”