Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is no more. The Protocol and Media division of AIIMS hospital released a medical bulletin which confirmed the unfortunate demise of the leader. "It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former Prime Minister of India Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 5:05 pm, on 16.08.2018" said the release.
Vajpayee was 93 and his death comes as a sad news for the entire nation. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with other political leaders took to their Twitter accounts to express their grief over the death of the great politician.
Here are the LIVE updates:
- Last rites at Vijay Ghat tomorrow: The last rites of Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be held at 5 pm tomorrow, Aug 17 at Delhi's Vijay Ghat. The leader will receive a state funeral.
- Government announces public mourning: A saeven-day mourning from Aug 16 to Aug 22 has been announced by the government following Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death. The national flag will fly half mast as part of the mourning.
- Public Homage at BJP Headquarters tomorrow: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's mortal remains will be taken to his residence soon after they are discharged from the Embaling Centre at AIIMS. His remains will be kept for public homage at the BJP Headquarters in New Delhi tomorrow.
- Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran also expressed his grief over the demise of Mr. Vajpayee. In an official statement, he said: "The nation has lost a statesman of independent India. An iconic leader on the world stage, vajpayee led India with great wisdom, foresight and love for the country."
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that he was pained beyond words over the tragic death of BJP Stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "Pained beyond words at the demise of Shri Atalji. He had cherished the ideal of a developed and powerful India in which all persons lived together in unity, peace and harmony, " Singh tweeted.
- Congress President Rahul Gandhi has expressed his grief over the death of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "Today India lost a great son. Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, was loved and respected by millions. My condolences to his family & all his admirers. We will miss him, " Gandhi tweeted.
- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu called Vajpayee a "diamond that adorned Bharat Mata" for decades. "Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the effulgent shining star in India's political firmament, was a friendly and lovable Prime Minister India has had. In his passing away, India has lost a multi-faceted 'Ratna', a diamond that adorned Bharata Mata for many decades," Naidu tweeted.
- Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that India has lost a great leader. "Deeply pained by the passing away of our beloved Atal ji. India has lost a great leader, a leader of masses and a visionary who dedicated his entire life in service of the nation and its people," Parrikar tweeted.
- BJP President Amit Shah has mourned the death on his twitter handle. He dedicated a poem penned by Vajpayee to the vateran who passed away this evening.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to his twitter account to mourn Vajpayee's death. "India grieves the demise of our beloved Atal Ji.His passing away marks the end of an era. He lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades. My thoughts are with his family, BJP Karyakartas and millions of admirers in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti," the PM tweeted. He added that it was Vajpayee's exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century.
- President mourns death: President Ram Nath Kovind has mourned the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "Extremely sad to hear of the passing of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, our former Prime Minister and a true Indian statesman. His leadership, foresight, maturity and eloquence put him in a league of his own. Atalji, the Gentle Giant, will be missed by one and all #PresidentKovind", he tweeted.
- The protocol devision of AIIMS has released a statement which says that the forme Prime Minister is no more. The release states that the leader breathed his last on 5:05 pm. "It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former Prime Minister of India Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 5:05 pm," said the release.
- The medical bulletin of Atal Bihari Vajpayee could be releases anytime soon. It is expected to be released by 5:30 pm.
- Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has reached AIIMS while Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia is expected to fly to Delhi tonight.
- The Delhi traffic police is having a hard time as the movement of traffic on the road has been hugely affected by the large crowd including emdia persons that have gathered outside AIIMS hospital. Police officials have been deployed to handle the situation.
- Chattisgrah Chief Minister Raman Singh joined the list of leaders who are praying for the former Prime Minister's recovery. Speaking to ANI, Raman Singh said that Chattisgarh and the entire nation was praying for him. He said that he is praying to God to make him healthy soon and bless him with a long life.
- The Bhartiya Janta Party has postponed its two-day national executive which was supposed to take place on August 18-19, because of the critical health condition of its veteran leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "As of now, the national executive has been postponed, and its dates will be finalised later," a party leader told PTI.
- Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that Vajpayee is still in a critical condition.
- Vajpayee's both lungs are "not in good condition because of pneumonia on both sides and kidneys are also weak," reported PTI.
- Wishes are pouring in from all across the country.
My prayers are with him, his presence is a great power to our democracy, He is a large-hearted person. Even if I opposed him, he was very dignified about it which speaks volume. He is very generous & very forthcoming: Muzaffar Ali, filmmaker #AtalBihariVajpayee pic.twitter.com/yBF46vJK6F— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
- West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
I have cancelled my work to visit #AtalBihariVajpayee today. I got chance to work with him. He is a statesman like figure. We supported him when his govt was falling. His pattern of work was different & not like present politics: Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal CM pic.twitter.com/CmdFV0aJ0V— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
- PM Modi arrives at AIIMS to visit Vajpayee. He had earlier paid a visit to the former PM on Wednesday evening.
- Several citizens in India are praying for Vajpayee's recovery.
- Delhi Traffic police have started imposing restrictions.
- Special Protection Group (SPG) commandos leave for Vajpayee's residence.
- Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Vajpayee's declining health.
- Roads leading to AIIMS and Vajpayee's house have been cordoned off.
- Congress President Rahul Gandhi arrives at AIIMS to enquire about Vajpayee's health.
- All BJP chief minister's have received an emergency call, wherein they have been asked to rush to Delhi, reported News 9.
- Meanwhile, the BJP has cancelled all its meetings as its veteran leader's heath continues to remain critical.
- The hospital is expected to release another medical bulletin in half an hour.
- Even the shops outside AIIMS have been shut down.
- The policemen have erected barricades outside the hospital as his family members and politicians are lining up to meet the former PM.
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee's condition continues to remain critical.
- People have also started gathering outside his house, reported News 9.
- Heavy security has been deployed outside the AIIMS as Vajpayee's health shows no improvement.
- Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is also expected to fly down to Delhi to meet the former prime minister.
- External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reaches AIIMS to visit Vajpayee.
- Meanwhile reports have said that Narendra Modi may pay a second visit to the BJP stalwart. According to an English daily, the next one hour is supposed to be 'critical' for the fomer PM.
- UP Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma expresses grief on Vajpayee's deteriorating health.
- Vajpayee's long-term friends and senior BJP leader LK Advani visits AIIMS.
- One of Vajpayee's niece Kanti Mishra said that she is praying that her uncle recovers soon.
His other niece Karuna Shukla will also be visiting her uncle today. She will leave from Raipur for Delhi at 11 am, reported News 18.
- Students of Government Ayurvedic College are praying for the health of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is in a critical condition.
- PM Narendra Modi Modi had dropped in at the hospital at around 7.15pm on Wednesday to enquire about the saffron party veteran leader's health.
- Rahul Gandhi is also expected to visit AIIMS today.
- Suresh Prabhu, the minister of Commerce and Industry, Civil Aviation had visited the ailing former PM on August 15.
- Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose party member and close confidant Ashutosh resigned on August 15, has also conveyed his best wishes to the Vajpayee.
"Sad to hear about Atalji's health. I pray to God for his fast recovery," Kejriwal tweeted.
- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that she will travel to Delhi on Wednesday to meet the former PM, who has been not been keeping well since the past few weeks.
- A few other Union ministers like JP Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan have also reached AIIMS to meet Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- Political leaders have cut across party lines to wish Vajpayee a speedy recovery.
Despite all the ideological differences, i always respected Atal ji. He is a true statesman, large hearted who believes in democratic exchange of ideas, rooted deeply in Indian-ness.— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) August 16, 2018
- Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, Union minister Smriti Irani, BJP president and member of Rajya Sabha Amit Shah have already paid a visit to the saffron party veteran at AIIMS on Thursday morning.
- Ever since the news about Vajpayee's decline in health made the headlines, politicos have been dropping in at AIIMS to visit the BJP stalwart. A few of them have also taken to Twitter to send their best wishes and pray for his speedy recovery.
- Aarti Vij, chairperson, media and protocol division of the AIIMS, issued a medical bulletin on Wednesday (August 15). "Former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee has been admitted for the last nine weeks at AIIMS. Unfortunately his condition has worsened over the past 24 hours. His condition is critical and he is on life support system," Vij said.