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HomePoliticsFormer Prime Minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies at 93

Former Prime Minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies at 93

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Vajpayee’s term as PM was defined by Pokhran, Kargil and a peace process with Pakistan.

 New Delhi: Former prime minister and veteran BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee died Thursday at the age of 93 after a prolonged illness. 

Vajpayee was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on 11 June after he was diagnosed with a kidney tract infection. The hospital put out a statement, saying that the former prime minister breathed his last at 5:05 pm.

“Shri Vajpayee was admitted in AIIMS on 11.06.2018 and was stable in the last 9 weeks under the care of a team of AIIMS doctors.  

“Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today,” the statement read. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death, tweeting that Vajpayee’s demise marked the “end of an era”.

A five-decade career

Vajpayee, who first entered the Lok Sabha in 1957, announced his retirement from active politics in December 2005, a year after his BJP-led NDA government was voted out of power.

Also read: Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Poet-politician and one of India’s most charismatic leaders

He withdrew from public life after suffering a stroke in 2009.

The BJP stalwart became prime minister for the first time in 1996 but had to resign within just 13 days since his government couldn’t muster up the numbers. Re-elected in 1998, his government survived for 13 months, losing a trust vote in Parliament. 

The following year, however, the NDA returned to power with a comfortable majority and Vajpayee completed a full term as PM. 

Known for his love for poetry, Vajpayee had an eventful stint as PM, defined by the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests, the Kargil war and his bid for peace with Pakistan. A moderate in the BJP, he was sometimes referred to as the mukhota or mask that covered the BJP’s Hindu nationalist politics.

 He was also talked of as the “right man in the wrong party”.

Also read: Vajpayee was popular even among citizens who didn’t vote for him, writes his PMO aide

‘A true statesman’

President Ram Nath Kovind was among a bevy of leaders who paid tribute to the former prime minister. “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,” the Rashtrapati Bhawan’s official Twitter handle quoted the President as having said.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted that the country had lost a great son.

BJP chief Amit Shah said that as the first party president, Vajpayee put his blood and sweat into nurturing it.

He is survived by foster daughter Namita Bhattacharya.

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  1. #AtalBihariVaajpayee Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies at the age of 93 at AIIMS, Delhi. India mourns the sad demise of the former PM. Vajpayee’s health has been critical since Wednesday. Consequently, he was admitted in AIIMS due to kidney tract infection, urinary tract infection, low urine output and chest congestion.
    He was the first non-Congress Prime Minister to serve a full term in the office. It was also declared by the Central government in 2014 that Vajpayee’s birthday, 25 December, would be marked as the Good Governance day.
    He was conferred India’s highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna, by the President of India in 2014.

  2. Atal Bihari Vijpayeeji was one of the tallest leader India had after independence. He was a great parliamentarian, a poet, a mass leader as well as a great human being. Demolition of Babri masque in ram janmabhomi movement in 1992 will remind his Hindutya image ever. His pokhran test, flop Agra summit n Gujrat Riots will also remind him as his achievements. Khuda uski Atma ko santi design. Moon choudhury

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