Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies at 93, India mourns

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died on Thursday after long illness.

The 93-year-old leader, who had faded from public life for more than a decade following health complications and was admitted to AIIMS with urinary tract infection on June 11, breathed his last at 5.05 pm, the hospital said in a statement.

“It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.  Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support system. Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today,” the statement said.

Vajpayee, a diabetic, was undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was said to be stable for the last nine weeks but his health suffered a setback on Sunday and worsened on Wednesday.

That things were getting worse could be gleaned from the fact that prime minister Narendra Modi made two visits to AIIMS in the last two days, along with various top leaders.

Rich tributes poured from across the political spectrum for Vajpayee who had the reputation of having no enemies in politics.

Modi described the passing away of Vajpayee as “the end of an era” and every Indian and the BJP worker would continue to be guided by his vision.

President Ram Nath Kovind said Vajpayee was a “true Indian statesman”.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Vajpayee was loved and respected by millions. “Today, India lost a great son.”

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