Concerned over the deteriorating health condition of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today left for the national capital to enquire about his health.
"I had shared a very cordial relationship with Atal-ji. I hold highest regards for him. That is the reason I have cancelled all my programmes and going to New Delhi to see him," Banerjee told reporters at the airport.
Banerjee was a cabinet minister in the NDA government led by Vajpayee and held the portfolio of the Union Railways Minister from October 1999 to March 2001 and then the Ministry of Mines from January to May 2004.
In between, she was also a minister without portfolio from March 2001 to January 2004.
Recalling her memories of working closely with Vajpayee, Banerjee further added, "The pattern of Atal-ji's work was quite different from the manner the current BJP government functions. There is no similarity."
"We had provided them support from outside. We (Trinamool Congress) were like a pillar to him," she added.
Remembering Vajpayee's visit to her Kalighat home to meet her mother Gayatri Devi in July 2000 along with his family, Banerjee said, "He had come to my residence and I am grateful to him for that. Both families share a very cordial relationship."
During the visit, Vajyapee had touched Gayatri Devi's feet.
"She is scheduled to head straight to the AIIMS where Atal-ji is undergoing treatment," a senior official of the chief minister's office said.
Vajpayee continues to remain in a critical condition.
He is currently on life support.