"It is a historic day for crores of Indians today when Atal Bihari Vajpayee is being given Bharat Ratna award," he tweeted.

Also read: Live: Bharat Ratna for Atal Bihari Vajpayee

He praised President Pranab Mukherjee's gesture of going to Vajpayee's residence to present the highest honour of the country to the ailing leader. "This gesture reflects grace & dignity," Modi said while referring to Mukherjee departing from convention to do the honours.

Later, the Prime Minister said Vajpayee had dedicated his life to the nation and was an inspiration for crores of people like him.

"Atalji is an outstanding son of the country...He has lived every moment of his life for the country. He is an inspiration for crores of people like me and will continue to be so. I pray to the God that he continues to give inspiration," Modi said while paying tributes to Vajpayee.

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