Atal Bihari Vajpayee cremated with full state honours

 

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna in Delhi.

His adopted daughter Namita Bhattacharya lit the funeral pyre and the poet-politician was given a gun salute.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweet and said that people came from all parts of India, from all sections of society to pay tributes to an extraordinary personality who made an extraordinary contribution to the nation.

His body was shifted from his residence to the BJP headquarters this morning, where scores of leaders, cutting across party lines, paid tribute to the leader through the day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah walked beside the coffin as it was brought to Smriti Sthal.

Vajpayee, a stalwart of the BJP, passed away on Thursday after battling a prolonged illness at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was 93.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee cremated with full state honours

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one of India’s most charismatic leaders who led the nation through several crises while holding together a tenuous coalition with his inclusive politics and superlative oratory, died here today. He was 93.

“It was Atalji’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, leading the nation in mourning the demise of the nationalist stalwart whose popularity cut across party lines.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee cremated with full state honours

Vajpayee, who joined the Rastriya Swamsevak Sangha (RSS) in 1947 rose through ranks to become a stalwart of the BJP and was the first non-Congress prime minister to complete a full term in office.

Seen as a moderate face of BJP, Vajpayee’s first became Prime Minister in 1996, leading a shaky coalition whose members were suspicious of the BJP’s right-wing politics. It lasted for 13 days and collapsed after losing a vote of no-confidence.
His second stint as prime minister was in 1998 when the National Democratic Alliance again came to power but that lasted for just 13 months.  Finally, the NDA with Vajpayee as PM returned to power in 1999 and was voted out in 2004.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee cremated with full state honours

A lifelong bachelor, Vajpayee was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1957 from Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh in India’s second general elections. His maiden speech in Parliament so impressed his peers and colleagues that the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru introduced Vajpayee to a visiting foreign dignitary thus: “This young man one day will become the country’s Prime Minister .”

He remained a member of Parliament for 47 years — elected 10 times to the Lok Sabha and twice to Rajya Sabha.

 

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