Atal Bihari Vajpayee passes away: Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away at AIIMS in Delhi at 5.05pm on Thursday. He was 93. In a medical bulletin, the hospital said his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. “Despite the best of efforts, we lost him today.” The Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on June 11 with a kidney tract infection, urinary tract infection, low urine output and chest congestion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, party veteran LK Advani, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Venkaiah Naidu, several union ministers and CMs and even former Pakistan President Pervez Musharaff mourned his death and several of them are at his residence to pay last respects.
Vajpayee’s mortal remains have been taken to his residence and hundreds of well wishers have gathered there. The mortal remains will be taken to the BJP headquarters at 9am on Friday and the samadhi will be done at Vijay Ghat, near Rajghat, at 4pm. The government also announced seven-day state mourning as a mark of respect for the former prime minister. In a circular, the home ministry also said national flag would be flown at half mast from today for seven days across India and a state funeral would be accorded to Vajpayee. Several state governments have also announced a holiday in schools, colleges and government offices Friday.
A large crowd of mediapersons and others has gathered outside AIIMS, affecting movement of traffic on the road. Traffic Policemen have been deployed to manage the crowd and traffic outside the hospital. The roads leading to Krishna Menon Marg have been blocked. Roads leading to Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s home have also been sealed.
Vajpayee, a diabetic patient, had been undergoing treatment at AIIMS since June 11 with a kidney tract infection, urinary tract infection, low urine output and chest congestion.
The 1924-born leader is under the supervision of Dr Randeep Guleria, a pulmonologist and currently the Director of AIIMS. Guleria has served as personal physician to Vajpayee for over three decades. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah had also visited Vajpayee on Saturday.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister briefly in 1996 and then from 1998 to 2004 but had retreated from active politics over the last decade due to failing health. Born in 1924, he entered politics during the Quit India movement in 1942. Vajpayee was elected to Lok Sabha from Lucknow in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004. Vajpayee was also the first external affairs minister to deliver a speech in the UN General Assembly in Hindi.
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