Coinciding with Christmas, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has gone all out to celebrate the day, made special after nation's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, was conferred to him.

Sundar Kand recitations were held in many parts of the city and 1,100 fishes were released in the Gomti river in the city late on Wednesday, wishing Vajpayee good health and a long life.

The destitute were given blankets and other warm clothing at many places and functions were organized across the state to mark the day as 'Good Governance Day'.

Many groups organized birthday events for Vajpayee who was the five time MP from the city. Old timers here said they were 'thoroughly overjoyed' after he was named for the Bharat Ratna award.

Shiv Kumar, a close aide of the former prime minister, said the recognition only added to the stature of Vajpayee but without it too, he was the tallest politician in the  country in recent times.

Another close associate, Lalji Tandon, who represented the Lok Sabha seat after 2004 when Vajpayee quit active politics following poor health, recalled the large heartedness of the BJP leader.

He said Vajpayee was loved by one and all, irrespective of age, caste, community or religious affiliations.

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