Atal Bihari Vajpayee passes away: Leaders across party lines react to demise of 'true Indian statesman'

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.

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".

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".

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman paid last respects to Vajpayee.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath hailed Vajpayee as a "dynamic speaker".

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".

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".

Follow latest updates of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral here


Updated Date: Aug 17, 2018 15:08 PM

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