Former prime minister of India and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on Thursday, after a prolonged illness. Vajpayee was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and died on Thursday evening at the age of 93. Several leaders saw a personal loss in the death of Vajpayee, one of India's most respected leaders who led the nation through several crises and held together a tenuous coalition with inclusive politics.
Vajpayee's brand of politics made him a revered leader across party lines, and top politicians of all parties responded to his demise with sorrow. Here are a few reactions:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has worked under Vajpayee's leadership in the BJP, called Vajpayee a "father figure" and said he had learnt the "vital facets" of shaasan (administration) and sangathan (organisation) from him.
I have lost a father figure.
Atal Ji taught me vital facets of both ‘Shaasan’ and ‘Sangathan.’
His noble thoughts will live on and we will fulfil his dreams for the country. pic.twitter.com/qr755OQ72o
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 16, 2018
President Ram Nath Kovind said he was "extremely sad" to hear of the demise of the enigmatic politician, and said that Vajpayee was a "true Indian statesman". The president lauded Vajpayee for his "leadership, foresight, and maturity".
Extremely sad to hear of the passing of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, our former Prime Minister and a true Indian statesman. His leadership, foresight, maturity and eloquence put him in a league of his own. Atalji, the Gentle Giant, will be missed by one and all #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 16, 2018
BJP president Amit Shah shared a memory with the former prime minister, calling the moment "unforgettable".
The Congress tweeted a letter written by former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh expressing his condolences to Vajpayee's adopted daughter Namita Bhattacharya. In the letter, Singh calls Vajpayee a "great patriot" and an exceptional "public servant".
Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh sends his condolences to Smt Namita Battacharya on the passing of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee pic.twitter.com/6U7nyFRZRH — Congress (@INCIndia) August 16, 2018
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman paid last respects to Vajpayee.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath hailed Vajpayee as a "dynamic speaker".
एक ओजस्वी वक्ता और प्रखर सांसद के रूप में अटल जी की विशिष्ट पहचान थी। भारतीय संसद की गौरवशाली परम्पराओं को समृद्ध करने के लिए अटल जी को सर्वश्रेष्ठ सांसद का पुरस्कार भी प्रदान किया गया था। — Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) August 16, 2018
Congress president Rahul Gandhi along with party leader Sonia Gandhi condoled the nation on the loss of the former prime minister. Rahul said, "India lost a great son." He added that Vajpayee was loved and respected by millions. Sonia Gandhi, in her letter, said that Vajpayee was a "towering figure" in the "national life".
Today India lost a great son. Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, was loved and respected by millions. My condolences to his family & all his admirers. We will miss him. #AtalBihariVajpayee — Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 16, 2018
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma shared an old photo of former Meghalaya chief minister PA Sangma meeting with Vajpayee. Describing the photograph, Conrad said they were meeting in a "gesture of smiles and respect", and with a "common love for the nation".
Lt Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lt Shri Purno A Sangma, meeting in a gesture of smiles and respect for each other, with a common love for the nation and things Indian. May their selfless service to the nation be an inspiration to many. I pray their souls rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/VkNVEaFqQF — Conrad Sangma (@SangmaConrad) August 17, 2018
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Updated Date: Aug 17, 2018 15:08:22 IST