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Published On: Fri, Aug 17th, 2018

Vajpayee Cremated With Full Military Honors

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NEW DELHI :Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a titan in Indian politics, was given the highest national send-off today with politicians across the spectrum and foreign dignitaries attending his funeral held with state honors on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi. Mr Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita Bhattacharya lit the funeral pyre as a 21-gun salute went off at the Smriti Sthal.

A sea of people had followed Mr Vajpayee’s funeral procession from the headquarters of the ruling BJP, the party he helped form in 1980. Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked the entire four km stretch behind the flower-decked gun carriage, along with other top BJP leaders and ministers.
A massive crowd chanted “long live Atal-ji” and showered rose petals on the glass casket carrying the three-time prime minister.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s last rites were performed at Smriti Sthal with full state honour today. Earlier in the morning, the mortal remains of Vajpayee were taken to BJP’s national headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg where people paid homage to the poet prime minister.
PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah were walking alongside the funeral casket. Top dignitaries from SAARC nations are attending last rites of the former Prime Minister. Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali arrived in Delhi earlier in the day to pay their last respects.
Sri Lanka’s Acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Pakistan’s acting information minister Syed Zafar Ali. King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Law Minister Ali Zafar – pay their tributes to the former Prime Minister.

Vajpayee-18aCongress President Rahul Gandhi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Army Chief Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat paid homage to the former prime minister..
The body of former PM  Atal Bihari Vajpayee reaches Smriti Sthal. Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, PM Narendra Modi, Former PM Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP President Amit Shah, senior BJP leader LK Advani, Congress President Rahul Gandhi at Smriti Sthal for funeral of Vajpayee.
The mortal remains of former Prime Miniter Atal Bihari Vajpayee being taken to Smriti Sthal for the funeral. PM Modi, BJP national President Amit Shah and other BJP leaders walk alongside Vajpayee’s cavalcade.
Veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar also opened up about the loss of Atal Bihari Vajpayee during a telephonic interview. “He used to consider me as his daughter. I used to call him Dada,” says Lata Mangeshkar. The veteran singer told India Today TV that the memories of Atalji cannot be erased. The veteran singer compared the feeling of losing him to the time she lost her father.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and AAP MP Sanjay Singh pay last respects to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at BJP Headquarters.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali  said, “We remember him (AB Vajpayee) for his contribution to Bangladesh Liberation War and strong support to people of Bangladesh.
Veteran BJP leader LK Advani and his daughter Pratibha Advani with Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray and his family at the BJP Headquarters. Advani and his daughter Pratibha pay last respects to former PM Vajpayee.Vajpayee-18b
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, DMK leader A Raja, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and Manipur CM N Biren Singh pay last respects to former PM.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Thursday said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee recognised that the US-India partnership would contribute to the world’s economic prosperity and security. In a statement, Pompeo said: “On behalf of the people of the United States of America, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the people of India on the recent passing of Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.”
He further said that Indians will reflect on Vajpayee’s many contributions that led to the country’s rise as a global and economic power. “He championed tirelessly for his country’s development and demonstrated a devotion to improving the lives of every Indian,” Pompeo said.
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died yesterday – a loss that was not only felt in India but the world politics as well. While India is observing seven days of state mourning as a mark of respect to Vajpayee, countries such as the United States, Russia and Japan too have condoled the demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Pakistan Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan in a statement said that Vajpayee was a prominent political personality of the sub-continent and his death has created a big void. “Efforts of Mr Vajpayee for improvement in relations between Pakistan and India will be remembered forever.
Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said, “We mourn the death of Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a great statesman.” He further said that Vajpayee’s name became an integral part of a whole era in Indian politics. Mr Vajpayee enjoyed due respect in India and globally.
Japanese envoy to India Kenji Hiramatsu said, “I am deeply saddened by the passing away of former PM Vajpayee”. Hailing Vajpayee as one of the most inspiring world leaders, the envoy said the upswing in India-Japan relations was only possible by the initiatives started by the former Indian PM.
Vajpayee, who passed away here at AIIMS on Thursday (August 16) at age 93, .Indian and world leaders offered condolences for the death of the three-time Prime Minister, who was accorded a state funeral with full military honours.

The tricolour that was draped over the mortal remains of Vajpayee was folded and handed over to his granddaughter Niharika. Following this, his body was cremated according to Hindu rituals, and he was accorded a 21-gun salute.
The ashes of Vajpayee will be immersed in the major rivers of all Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has decided. The Chief Minister took the decision taking into view “public sentiments” so that the “people get a chance to associate with the final journey” of the former PM.”Uttar Pradesh was former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji’s karmabhoomi. He had a deep connect with every part of Uttar Pradesh,” said Mr. Adityanath. — Omar Rashid
Thousands of people gather outside the BJP Headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg in New Delhi  to pay their respects. “Mr. Vajpayee was an outstanding Prime Minister. It is he who made India a nuclear power,” Anil Agarwal from Rohini, an admirer of the late leader, speaks to our correspondent Jaideep Deo Bhanj.

“I cherish the memories of my long association with him, right from our days as pracharaks of the RSS, to the inception of Bharatiya Jana Singh, the struggle of the dark months during the Emergency leading to the formation of the Janata Party and later the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980,” said L.K. Advani in a statement.
When the Janata Party collapsed in 1979, Vajpayee and several former RSS leaders like L.K. Advani, Bhairon Singh Shekawat and Murli Manohar Joshi formed the BJP.
Known as much for his meaningful pauses as for his poetic oratory, Mr. Vajpayee’s legacy is now in the domain of history writers. What he says of himself and his long career in India’s public life is probably best encapsulated by some lines from his poem: “Kaal ke kapaal par likhta mitaata hoon, geet naya gaata hoon (I write and erase lines on the forehead of time, I sing a new song)”. Here is obituary written by Nistula Hebbar.
Mr.Vajpayee, the first External Affairs Minister to deliver a speech in Hindi at the UN General Assembly, effectively raised India’s stand on key issues like nuclear disarmament, state-sponsored terrorism and reforms at the world body.(With Agency Inputs).

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