"Our former Prime Minister Vajpayee is not only just an Indian statesman but an international icon who is respected and loved by everyone," Singh told reporters here.

Vajpayee is being conferred country's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna on Friday by President Pranab Mukherjee.

The Home Minister said it is a matter of immense happiness for the whole country that the former Prime Minister is being bestowed with the Bharat Ratna.

"His personality, his oratory skill, his honesty and humility signify his greatness. His is a great human being," he said.

Setting aside protocol, the President will visit Vajpayee's Krishna Menon Marg residence here and will confer him the Bharat Ratna later today.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other senior Cabinet ministers will be present on the special occasion.

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