‘True Ajatshatru’ of Indian Politics,Atal Bihari Vajpayee cremated at Smriti Sthal, Nation bids farewell:
“Atal Bihari Vajpayee cremated with state honours, end of an era for Indian politics”.
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away here at AIIMS on Thursday (August 16) at age 93, was on Friday cremated with full military honours at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal, where people turned out in tens of thousands to pay their final tributes.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya lit the pyre as cries of Atal Bihari Amar Rahe reverberated and the Army performed the 21-gun salute.
The illustrious and much adored former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was cremated with the highest state honours on Friday as politicians across the spectrum were joined by leaders of foreign nations at the Smriti Sthal for the last rites of the tallest statesman of India. In a departure from tradition, Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita Bhattacharya lit the funeral pyre as other family members accompanied her, including her daughter Niharika, who broke down into tears as her grandfather’s mortal remains went up in flames.
Bugles sounded the last post, uniformed soldiers clicked their heels and a sombre silence fell over the crowd as Vajpayee’s mortal remains were consigned to the flames.The sun set on the life of a poet-politician who combined accommodative politics with graciousness.
Namita Kaul Bhattacharya lit the pyre as cries of “Atal Bihari Amar Rahe” reverberated and the Army performed the 21-gun salute. The tricolour draping Vajpayee was folded and handed over to his granddaughter Niharika.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a galaxy of political leaders cutting across party lines and foreign dignitaries joined the rest of the nation in bidding adieu to the departed leader at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal.
In keeping with the military honours, three service chiefs placed wreaths on the body of Vajpayee before leaders paid their floral tributes.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, LK Advani, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were among the thousands of people who attended the funeral at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna.
Senior leaders from across the political spectrum and world leaders gathered in large numbers to pay their last respects to the BJP stalwart who served as the 10th prime minister of the country.
Change of Guard Ceremony Not to be Held Tomorrow:
The Change of Guard ceremony on the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan will not be held tomorrow due to state mourning.
Several foreign dignitaries, including the king of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuckand, Bangladesh foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai were also present at the event to pay their last respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Yogi Wants Vajpayee’s Ashes to be Spread in Every River in UP:
The Uttar Pradesh government has issued a notice for Vajpayee’s ashes to be spread in every river in Uttar Pradesh including Ganga, Yamuna, and Tapti, to respect his grand stature.
Atalji, You Will Live on in The Hearts and Minds of Every Indian: PM Modi.
After Vajpayee’s final rites were performed at Delhi’s Smriti Sthal, PM Narendra Modi tweeted in honour of the former prime minister. He wrote, “Atal Ji, you will live on in the hearts and minds of every Indian. No words can ever do justice to your rich contribution towards the making of our country.”he tweeted.
India loses a stalwart and a very good human being who adorned the highest executive position.I fondly recall Mr Vajpayee when I was in the same que for a boarding pass to take a flight. He smilingly acknowledged my greetings and patiently waited for his turn. #VajpayeeJi.Most respected and admirable public leader India had in Mr Vajpayee ji.His pleasant and respectful nature towards all, shall always remain an example to follow. He remains a true Bharat Ratan. #VajpayeeJi.One of the biggest Hall-Mark of a Great Leader is his predictability, Large hearted-ness with a clear mind of his own. #AtalJiAmarRahen .This is who Mr Vajpayee was Kiran Bedi Lieutenant Governor of Pudducherry tweeted.
Top Political Leaders Pay Their Last Respects to Vajpayee.
From President Ram Nath Kovind to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan, top political leaders across the spectrum paid their last respects to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Delhi’s Smriti Sthal.
Prime minister Narendra Modi paid his last respects to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at New Delhi’s Smriti Sthal.
Army Chief, Navy Chief and Air Chief Pay Last Tributes to Vajpayee.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa paid their last tributes to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Smriti Sthal in Delhi.
Mortal Remains of Vajpayee Brought to Delhi’s Smriti Sthal.
Mortal remains of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee have been brought to Delhi’s Smriti Sthal for last rites.
Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi at Smriti Sthal.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Rahul Gandhi have arrived at Smriti Sthal for the funeral of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Earlier, PM Modi, Amit Shah and a host of other BJP leaders and ministers walked alongside thousands of mourners leading the funeral procession to Smriti Sthal from the party headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg.
PM Modi with other leaders of 22 states and Thousands walked the 7-km stretch along with the BJP leaders to pay their last respects to the 93-year-old stalwart who passed away on Thursday at AIIMS after a prolonged illness.
His body was taken to his official residence on Krishna Menon Marg on Thursday night, where several politicians, including PM Modi and others, dropped in to pay their respects.
Despite a sultry weather in Delhi, thousands gathered on the streets to accompany the hearse while PM Modi, too, surprised many by joining the procession.
Many among these thousands travelled by trains and buses and took pains to reach Delhi in time to pay their last respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
It was a sea of white, with most mourners dressed in the colour of mourning to remember the man who wove together pragmatism and his vision for an inclusive India. Some could be seen wiping their tears. The intensity of the moment and the heat led to some mourners fainting.
Aakash Kumar, 25, rode his scooter from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, covering a distance of around 70 km. He said Vajpayee’s “Kaal ke kapaal pe likhta aur mitaata hoon” is his favourite poem. “I was probably in Class 3 or 4, when I heard one of his speeches and got drawn towards him. I really liked his poems,” Aakash Kumar told media persons.
Thousands of mourners jostled and some clambered on trees to capture the moment on their phones as Vajpayee’s cortege left the BJP’s headquarters for the last rites of the poet-politician. People from across the country gathered outside the BJP office and hundreds lined up inside to pay homage to the former prime minister.
Seen as a moderate face of BJP, Vajpayee 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.
Indian and world leaders offered condolences for the death of the three-time Prime Minister, who was accorded a state funeral with full military honours.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah accompanied the cortege from the BJP headquarters to Smriti Sthal.
Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, acting Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Lakshman Kiriella paid their last respects to the former PM.
The tricolour that was draped over the mortal remains of Vajpayee was folded and handed over to his grand daughter Niharika.
Following this, his body was cremated according to Hindu rituals, and he was accorded a 21-gun salute.
Ashes to be immersed in all districts of Uttar Pradesh:
The ashes of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be immersed in the major rivers of all Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has decided. The Chief Minister took the decision taking into view “public sentiments” so that the “people get a chance to associate with the final journey” of the former PM, a government spokesperson said on Friday. “Uttar Pradesh was former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji’s karmabhoomi. He had a deep connect with every part of Uttar Pradesh,” said Mr. Adityanath.
The tricolour placed over Mr. Vajpayee’s remains are folded ceremoniously and given to his family members.Vajpayee’s granddaughter Niharika receives the flag. Vande Mataram is being sung now.
The last rites have begun.The funeral pyre is lit and a 21-gun salute is accorded to the former PM.
SAARC leaders pay last respects:
Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, acting Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Lakshman Kiriella pay their last respects.
They are followed by Indian leaders,L.K. Advani, BJP president Amit Shah, former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and others.
Mourners walk beside the carriage, chanting slogans like ‘Jab tak sooraj chand rahega, Atal ji ka naam rahega,’ punctuated by patriotic cheers of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’.
I cherish the memories of my long association with him, right from our days as pracharaks of the RSS, to the inception of Bharatiya Jana Singh, the struggle of the dark months during the Emergency leading to the formation of the Janata Party and later the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980,” said L.K. Advani in a statement.
A poetic orator:
Known as much for his meaningful pauses as for his poetic oratory, Mr.Vajpayee’s legacy is now in the domain of history writers.What he says of himself and his long career in India’s public life is probably best encapsulated by some lines from his poem: “Kaal ke kapaal par likhta mitaata hoon, geet naya gaata hoon (I write and erase lines on the forehead of time.
Vajpayee, a 10-time Lok Sabha member:
Atal Bihari Vajpayee had a unique distinction of being a member of Parliament for 12 terms,a 10-time Lok Sabha member and twice of Rajya Sabha. The only time he lost a Lok Sabha election was against Madhavrao Scindia of Congress from Gwalior in 1984, when he lost by a margin of close to 2 lakh votes.Vajpayee represented Lucknow in the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Lok Sabha from 1991 to 2009.
Vajpayee, the 1st Indian leader to address UNGA in Hindi:
Mr.Vajpayee, the first External Affairs Minister to deliver a speech in Hindi at the UN General Assembly, effectively raised India’s stand on key issues like nuclear disarmament, state-sponsored terrorism and reforms at the world body.
The government has announced a state funeral for Vajpayee.
A seven-day state mourning has been announced as a mark of respect for the former Prime Minister. Delhi government offices, schools and institutions have been closed.
People walk along the cortege carrying the mortal remains of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as it passes in front of the India Gate.
A convoy carrying the mortal remains of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee leaves from his Krishna Menon Marg residence towards BJP headquarters.
People walk along the cortege carrying the mortal remains of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Embarks on His Last Journey.