Interim information minister departs for Vajpayee’s funeral

Atal Bihari Vajpayee – the Quintessential No One's Man but His Own

Vajpayee. Credit PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP Chief Amit Shah walks along the gun carriage carrying Vajpayee's body.

The mortal remains of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee are being taken to Smriti Sthal for the funeral.

Reacting to the sad development which has shocked the country, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Ex-aide to former PM, said he worked with Kulkarni for 6 years, he treated everyone with respect, he further said that Vajpayee had asserted that the Kashmir dispute cannot be solved constitutionally, and only by the boundaries of humanity.

Vajpayee breathed his last on 5.05 pm at New Delhi's All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

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"He was a charismatic politician who took pride in India and took everyone along".

"The United States grieves with India on the loss of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee", the U.S. Embassy in India said in a statement Thursday.

He was the prime minister who ordered nuclear tests in 1998, stoking fears of atomic war between India and Pakistan. My thoughts are with his family, BJP Karyakartas and millions of admirers in this hour of sadness.

In the morning, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army Chief Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat paid homage at his official residence.

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Zafar had departed for India earlier today and represented the country at the funeral in New Delhi today.

"Efforts of Mr Vajpayee for improvement in relations between Pakistan and India will be remembered forever", said the cricketer-turned-politician.

"It was Atal Ji's exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century". Leaders of the BJP were gathering at his home in New Delhi to pay their respects.

"During his tenure, Prime Minister Vajpayee advocated for a robust partnership with the United States, referring to us as natural allies".

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