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Published On: Thu, Aug 16th, 2018

A B Vajpayee captivated the nation with his dry wit and oratory

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vajpayee-1NEW DELHI : Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away today at the age of 93. Leaders cutting across the political spectrum mourned the loss of India’s former prime minister. The 93-year-old political icon was suffering from kidney tract infection, urinary tract infection and even respiratory problems.
Vajpayee’s condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. “Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today,” the statement released by Dr. Aarti Vij said Chairperson, Media & Protocol Division of AIIMS.
Vajpayee’s body will be taken to his residence at 6, Krishna Menon Marg, where it will be kept throughout the night. The body will be taken to the BJP headquarters at Ashoka Road to allow the public to pay their respects.
Vajpayee’s last rites will be conducted near Smriti Sthal on the banks of Yamuna. The memorial is the designated spot for the cremation of presidents, vice-presidents and prime ministers.

In 2009, he suffered a stroke leading to loss of speech and subsequently causing dementia. Vajpayee was a monumental figure in both BJP and India’s political landscape. He was the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete his five-year term.

Mr Vajpayee had been on life-support since Wednesday night. The hospital said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s condition worsened over the past 24 hours. He was admitted to the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on June 11 with urinary tract infection, low urine output and chest congestion.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee debuted in parliament in 1962 after being elected to the Rajya Sabha. It was only nine years later that he won an election. He was elected to the Lok Sabha seven times.

He ruled the country for 13 days in 1996, 13 months in 1998 and for almost six years from 1999. In his 47 years in parliament, the former PM captivated the nation with his dry wit and oratory, proving that no one could work the room quite like he could.

PM Modi paid his homage to his mentor Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the latter’s residence. Also to pay their respects were party chief Amit Shah and Vajpayee’s contemporary LK Advani. PM Modi said Vajpayee’s death marks the end of an era. “He lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades.”

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj reached 6, Krishna Menon Marg to pay their respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Vajpayee was elected from Lucknow multiple times and after that, Rajnath Singh became the MP from the city.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh has written a letter of condolence to Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s adopted daughter Namita Bhattacharya. The mortal remains of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee have been brought to his home at Krishna Menon Marg.

Bihar Government has declared seven-day state mourning and a public holiday tomorrow. While Delhi government declares holiday tomorrow as mark of respect towards the former prime minister. All schools and colleges in the national capital will remain shut.

Reacting to the demise to former PM, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman Tata Sons said, “The nation has lost a statesman of independent India. An iconic leader on the world stage, Vajpayeeji led India with great wisdom, foresight and love for the country.”

Mr. Vajpayee was the first BJP leader to be sworn-in as the prime minister and the first non-Congress PM to complete five year term.
Born on December 25, 1924 in Gwalior, Mr. Vajpayee was elected 10 times to the Lok Sabha from four different States (the first time in 1957 from Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh), and was twice a Member of the Rajya Sabha in a storied career.

One of the founding members of the Jan Sangh in 1951, Mr. Vajpayee became its president in 1968 upon the death of Deendayal Upadhyaya.(With Agency Inputs ).

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