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Atal Bihari Vajpayee no more, confirms AIIMS | Former Prime Minister was 93

Atal Bihari Vajpayee no more, confirms AIIMS | Former Prime Minister was 93

Former Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who ordered nuclear tests to make India a nuclear weapons power and travelled by bus to Pakistan in a grand diplomatic gesture, died on Thursday, the hospital where he was being treated said in a statement.

Vajpayee suffered a stroke in 2009 and retreated from public view. He first became PM of India for only 16 days - May 16-31, 1996. A state funeral would be accorded to him and a half day holiday would be observed in all central government offices on Friday. He returned to power in 1998 for 13 months after forging an alliance of 22 parties, mostly regional power brokers with disparate local appeal. "Between 1999 and 2004, he deftly managed the unwieldy coalition government of fractious partners", it added.

A lifelong bachelor, Vajpayee was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1957 from Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh in India's second general elections. "During his tenure, Prime Minister Vajpayee advocated for a robust partnership with the United States, referring to us as "natural allies", it said. He said the BJP patriarch lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades, while noting that it was Vajpayee's exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century.

He passed away at AIIMS in New Delhi on Thursday evening at the age of 93 due to prolonged illness. He subsequently developed dementia, and has had trouble with cognition and memory.

Vajpayee was born on December 25, 1924 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to a schoolteacher, Krishna Bihari Vajpayee, and Krishna Devi.

More news: Man is arrested after 70 people overdose on K2 in New Haven

Modi's government presented Vajpayee as an icon, seeking inspiration from his political career and cashing in on his stature and popularity as a statesman acceptable across political divides.

After schooling, he graduated from Victoria College in Gwalior, now known as Laxmi Bai College. Following a brief flirtation with communism, he became a full-time worker of RSS in 1947. Advani and his daughter Pratibha pay last respects to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. My condolences to his family and all his admirers.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi will visit the ailing former prime minister. "We will miss him". The body would then be taken to the BJP headquarters at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg at around 9 am, he told reporters.

In another far-reaching impact of that 2000 visit, Prime Minister Vajpayee had described India and the United States as "natural allies" in a speech at a NY think-tank. "He will be remembered for his vast contribution in bolstering US-India relations".


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