Atal Bihari Vajpayee dead; latest updates: Imran Khan calls ex-PM a 'tall personality of the subcontinent'

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee dead; latest updates: Imran Khan calls ex-PM a 'tall personality of the subcontinent'
  • 23:19 (IST)

    Ashok Gehlot, Ghulam Nabi Azad pay tributes to Vajpayee

    Congress leaders paid their last tributes at Vajpayee's residence.

  • 23:03 (IST)

    Central Delhi roads to be closed for Vajpayee's funeral procession

    Delhi Police on Thursday announced rerouting of traffic on certain roads in anticipation of a surge in crowd for the funeral ceremony of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday.

    The funeral ceremony of the founding member of the ruling BJP will be held at Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna in East Delhi.

    The police will close general traffic on many roads in Central Delhi including Krishna Memon Marg, Tughlaq Road, Akbar Road, Mansingh Road, a part of Janpath, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Road, where BJP has its headquarters, and several others, leading to C Hexagon of India Gate.


  • 22:56 (IST)

    Vajpayee announced retirement from public life at Mumbai rally
    Mumbai played a significant role in the political journey of former prime minister Atal Bihari​ Vajpayee.
    He had announced his retirement from public life in 2005 at a rally at Shivaji Park after the party's national executive meeting here, BJP leader Madhav Bhandari said.
    "Atal ji had then declared that he was retiring from public life and announced that LK Advani would lead the party," Bhandari recalled. The 2005 national executive meeting in Mumbai was held to mark the party's Rajat Jayanti (silver jubilee) celebrations.

  • 22:38 (IST)

    Vajpayee used to listen to every party as prime minister: Mamata Banerjee
    Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would always listen to his alliance partners as that was his style of working, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee recalled on Thursday after paying tribute to the BJP stalwart.
    Banerjee, who flew to Delhi from Kolkata this evening, spent an hour at Vajpayee's residence to pay her last respects to the leader, under whom she had served as a Union minister.
    "We have worked together. We supported his government from outside. He worked with all. It was his style of working. He always listened to us. Nitish ji, Jayalalithaa ji, Navin ji — we were all together. There was no difference among us," she said.

  • 22:36 (IST)

    Uddhav Thackeray pays tribute to Vajpayee

    Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray paid his respects to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Delhi. 

    Earlier, terming Vajpayee as an "innocent politician" and the "Bheeshm Pitamah", Thackeray said the former prime minister remained unaffected by ego that comes along with power in politics.
    ​"My heart is not ready to accept that Atal ji is no more with us. He is in our hearts. Qualities like ego due to power have always remained far away from him. He was a simple man and an innocent politician," Thackeray said in a condolence message.

  • 22:32 (IST)

    Vajpayee was the last Indian politician to be universally revered

    If you want to understand the importance of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, make a trip to Srinagar or even Anantnag. While you are there, strike a conversation with a cross-section of Kashmiris—politicians, students, hoteliers, drivers, shopkeepers, even separatists—and ask them which Indian politician they love the most. The universal answer would be: Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

    Everywhere you go in Kashmir, people would refer to the Vajpayee doctrine of Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat and his famous recital of local poet Mehjoor: Wala ho baghawano, nav bahurak shaan paida kar, phoolon gul gaath karan bulbul, timay saman paida kar.

    Click here to read more

  • 22:24 (IST)

    Chandrababu Naidu describes Vajpayee as 'political Bhishma of India'

    Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday expressed grief over the demise of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, describing him as the "political Bhishma of India" and crediting him with strengthening the BJP.

    In a statement, he said Vajpayee was a great humanist and a great visionary who always led a principled life. "Vajpayee was instrumental in strengthening the BJP. From a party that had just two members in Lok Sabha, Vajpayee rode it to power. He was a successful MP, Leader of Opposition, Minister of External Affairs and eventually the prime minister," he said.


  • 22:22 (IST)

    Imran Khan condoles Vajpayee's death

    Pakistan's prime minister-in-waiting imran Khan remembered Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a "tall personality of the subcontinent". "His attempts for the betterment of India-Pakistan relationship will always be remembered. Vajpayee, as a foreign minister, took responsibility of improving India-Pakistan ties," ANI quoted him as saying. 

  • 22:19 (IST)

    Vajpayee was a towering figure in our national life, says Sonia Gandhi

    UPA chairperson and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi said that she was deeply saddened by the passing away of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "Vajpayee was a towering figure in our national life.Throughout his life, he stood for democratic values and demonstrated this commitment in all his acts whether as a parliamentarian, a cabinet minister or the prime minister," ANI quoted her as saying.

    "His warm personality and his gift of friendship won him admirers and friends across the political spectrum and from every walk of life. His death leaves behind a huge void. I join millions of our fellow Indians in mourning his loss and pray for the departed soul," she said.

  • 22:07 (IST)

    A day of great sadness: Sheikh Hasina 

    In a condolence message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina expressed condolences to the government and the people of India. "He was our friend and highly respected in Bangladesh. As a token of recognition for his invaluable contribution to our Liberation War in 1971, Bangladesh government conferred on him Bangladesh Liberation War Honour. Today is a day of great sadness for all of us in Bangladesh," she said.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee dead; latest updates: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi described former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a "towering figure" who stood for democratic values and demonstrated this commitment in all his acts. She also paid last respects at Vajpayee residence in Delhi.

The Pakistani government condoled the death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "He was a renowned statesman who contributed to bringing a change in India-Pakistan relations and remained key supporter of SAARC and regional cooperation for development," it said in a statement.

In an address from Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered the late prime minister as a father figure. "Whenever he met me, he would hug me like a father. For me, the void he has left can never be filled. He made BJP's ideology reach every corner of the country. It's because of him that BJP has come this far."

Speaking at Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence in Delhi, BJP chief Amit Shah said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee's mortal remains will be kept at his residence till Friday morning. "His body will be taken to BJP headquarters at 9 am on Friday. At 1 pm, the funeral procession will begin. The last rites cermony will be held at Smriti Sthal at 4 pm," he said.

The Jharkhand government has declared a seven-day mourning in memory of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, while the Punjab government has declared a three-day mourning. All offices/boards/corporation and educational institutions in Punjab will remain closed on Friday as a mark of respect, while Jharkhand has announced state holiday tomorrow.

The central government announced a seven-day State mourning throughout India. Meanwhile, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia announced on Twitter that all Delhi government offices, schools, and other institutions will remain closed on Friday as "a mark of respect" for Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the mortal remains of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be taken to his residence, where people can pay tribute to him. The body will be kept at the BJP headquarters in Delhi on Friday.

 In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "His passing away marks the end of an era. He lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades. My thoughts are with his family, BJP karyakartas and millions of admirers in this hour of sadness," Modi said.

Ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away at 93. In a statement, AIIMS said, "It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former prime minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 5.05 pm," the hospital said in a statement.

A large crowd of mediapersons and others has gathered outside the hospital in south Delhi to get updates on Vajpayee's heath, affecting movement of traffic on the road. Policemen have been deployed to manage the crowd and traffic outside the hospital.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi arrived at All India Institute of Medical Science. They were accompanied by Bihar minister Nand Kishore Yadav. Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said that the entire country is praying for the health of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "Chhattisgarh and the entire nation is praying for him. We pray to the God to make him healthy soon and bless him with a long life," he said.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray may leave for New Delhi on Thursday evening to enquire about the health of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari​ Vajpayee, who is on life support at the AIIMS, sources told PTI. "Atal ji and Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray shared close relations when the Sena supremo was alive. Their personal bonding was one of the reasons why the BJP-Sena​ alliance stayed strong for decades. It would be natural for​ Uddhav ji to visit the former prime minister to check on his health," a source close to Thackeray said.

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi was seen arriving at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi where former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is admitted and is in a "critical condition. Meanwhile, Loktantrik Janata Dal Sharad Yadav tweeted saying that he worked with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a minister in his government and that the former prime minister loved him a lot. "His health is not well. I pray for his early recovery and long life," he said in the tweet.

Addressing the media, Health Minister JP Nadda said that former prime minister's condition is "still critical", and that the doctors at AIIMS are taking efforts to revive his health. He also said that the medical bulletin will be out soon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi left the hospital after being briefed about Vajpayee's health. According to reports, movement around the institute has been restricted.

While security outside AIIMS hospital and Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence in Delhi has been beefed-up, traffic has also been blocked and no new entries are being allowed inside the hospital premises.

"I served as a member of his cabinet for two years, to hear about his health is distressing. He is a great leader and to work under him was a very good experience. I would be flying to Delhi today, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik told ANI.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has postponed its national executive meeting in view of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's deteriorating health condition, News18 reported.

According to CNN-News18, roads leading to Krishna Menon Marg and Vajpayee's home have been blocked. The BJP stalwart has been admitted to AIIMS for the last nine weeks, where his condition remains critical.

The entire Karnataka BJP leadership is heading from Bengaluru to Delhi, including Union minister Sadananda Gowda. Former Karnataka chief minister and state BJP President BS Yeddyurappa has suspended all meetings and scheduled plans in view of Vajpayee’s sensitive health, News18 reported.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has requested his party volunteers not to celebrate his birthday in view of the deteriorating health condition of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vaajpayee. He has requests the volunteers to refrain from visiting his residence, according to reports.

BJP chief ministers such as Devendra Fadnavis, Yogi Adityanath, Shivraj Singh Chouhan are rushing to AIIMS in New Delhi to visit Vajpayee as he continues to be in a critical condition and on life support. Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Uma Bharti also visited AIIMS hospital in Delhi to inquire about Vajpayee's health.

"Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's condition continues to remain the same. He is critical and on life support systems, read the AIIMS statement released on Thursday morning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may pay a second visit to Atal Bihari Vajpayee in AIIMS. The hospital is expected to release the latest medical bulletin after Modi's visit. AIIMS director will brief the Prime Minister's Office about the health of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Doctors at AIIMS are presently monitoring Vajpayee in ICU and the next one hour is said to be crucial, News18 reported. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also paid a visit to ailing former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at AIIMS in Delhi.

In view of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s critical health, BJP has suspended all its programmes. An event scheduled for 20 August where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to launch a book on Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu’s one year in office has also been postponed, according to News18.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani and daughter Pratibha Advani arrived at AIIMS hospital on Thursday morning to see ailing former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The BJP leader was admitted to AIIMS with a kidney tract infection, urinary tract infection, low urine output and chest congestion. "Both his lungs are not in good condition because of pneumonia on both sides and kidneys are also weak. He is critical," a source told PTI on Thursday.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will also visit AIIMS where former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is admitted, ANI reported.

BJP President Amit Shah arrived at AIIMS on Thursday morning where former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is admitted. Union home minister Rajnath Singh will visit ailing Vajpayee at AIIMS at around 10.30 am on Thursday, CNN News18 reported. Meanwhile, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will fly to Delhi today to check on Atal Bihari Vajpayee at AIIMS.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee is under the supervision of Dr Randeep Guleria who is currently the director of AIIMS. Dr Guleria has been the personal physician of Vajpayee for over three decades. A team of doctors from the nephrology, gastroenterology, pulmonology and cardiology departments is keeping round-the-clock check on the ailing leader, Moneycontrol reported.

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is critical and has been put on life support system after his health deteriorated in the last one day, AIIMS said in a statement on Wednesday night. Vajpayee, a diabetic, has only one functional kidney. He had suffered a stroke in 2009 that weakened his cognitive abilities. And subsequently, he developed dementia, according to PTI.

"Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been admitted for the last nine weeks at AIIMS. Unfortunately his condition has worsened over the last 24 hours. His condition is critical and he is on life support system," Dr Aarti Vij said in a press release. According to reports, another medical bulletin on Atal Bihari Vajpayee's health is expected to be released by AIMS in an hour.

Vajpayee was admitted at the AIIMS on 11 June with a kidney infection, urinary tract infection, low urine output and chest congestion. Vajpayee, a diabetic, has only one functional kidney, reports PTI. Vajpayee also suffered a stroke in 2009.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited AIIMS Wednesday evening to inquire about Vajpayee's condition. Modi reached the hospital at around 7.15 pm and spent about 50 minutes there.

Vajpayee's care team at AIIMS is led by Dr Randeep Guleria, a renowned pulmonologist and Director of AIIMS. Guleria has worked as personal physician to Vajpayee for over three decades.

News18 is reporting that a stomach infection has gotten worse for Vajpayee.

AIIMS did not mention specifics but the storyline remains the same: "Unfortunately, his condition has worsened over the last 24 hours. His condition is critical and he is on life-support system," AIIMS said.

Born 25 December 1924, Vajpayee served three times as India's prime minister, first for a term of 13 days in 1996, and then from 1998 to 2004. He was elected to the Lok Sabha ten times and twice to the Rajya Sabha. Vajpayee was the first non Congress prime minister to serve a full five-year term. At age 93, Vajpayee is currently the oldest living former Indian Prime Minister.

In 1996, Vajpayee was sworn in as India's 10th prime minister but the BJP couldn't cobble together a majority. Vajpayee resigned after 13 days.

After the fall of the two United Front governments between 1996 and 1998, the 1998 general elections saw a bloc of political parties joining the BJP to form the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and Vajpayee was sworn in as PM for the second time. This NDA government lasted 13 months until mid-1999 when the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) under Jayalalithaa withdrew its support.

In the 1999 general elections, the BJP-led NDA won 303 seats out of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. On 13 October 1999, Vajpayee took oath as PM for the third time.

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Updated Date: Aug 16, 2018 23:47:16 IST


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