India

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cremated With State Honours His adopted daughter Namita performed the last rites and lit the funeral pyre

@otuslive

FORMER Prime Minister and ‘Bharat Ratna’ Atal Bihari Vajpayee was cremated with state honours in New Delhi’s Smriti Sthal on Friday with his adopted daughter Namita Bhattacharya performing the last rites.

Vajpayee, 93, had passed away on Thursday after being on life support for few days.

He was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences on June 11 with multiple complications including kidney infection and chest congestion.

A lifelong bachelor, he is survived by his adopted daughter Namita Bhattacharya and granddaughter Niharika.

Earlier, his body was kept at the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters for people to pay their last respects.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi attended the funeral.

Leaders from various political parties, Chief Ministers of many states, representatives from India’s neighboring countries and representatives of various embassies and missions in India paid their respects at the party office, and at Smriti Sthal.

The entire top leadership of the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were in attendance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah walking behind the entourage from the party office till Smriti Sthal.

Vajpayee was India’s longest serving non-Congress prime minister, a feat which laid the foundation for his Bharatiya Janata Party to get a majority on its own in 2014.

Vajpayee had retired from politics in December of 2005 at the age of 81 owing to his failing health. He suffered a stroke in 2009 and gradually faded away from public life.

Statesman, politician, poet and a master orator, Atal Bihari Vajpayee has many firsts to his credit: The first prime minister from the BJP, India’s first bachelor prime minister and the first president of his party.

Vajpayee became Prime Minister in 1996 albeit for just 13 days, for eleven months in 1998-1999 and then from 1999 to 2004.

His speeches in Parliament were heard in rapt attention, with lawmakers and journalists often trying to decode his masterful oratory, and his legendary pauses between the sentences, for their hidden meaning.

Vajpayee was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1957 and has been a member for 10 terms. He won his last election in 2004 from Lucknow.

He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, in 2015.

At the funeral, people were heard shouting “Atal Bihari Amar Rahe” (Long Live Atal Bihari), when the last rites were being performed amid the chanting of Vedic shlokas.

#AtalBihariVajpayee Funeral: AS IT HAPPENED

Paying Tributes

PM Narendra Modi Walking With the Procession

King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

Former PM Manmohan Singh and Congress President Rahul Gandhi

The Leaders

The Last Rites

The Tricolor

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