Bengal BJP Planning All Party Condolence Meet For Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Bengal BJP Planning All Party Condolence Meet For Atal Bihari Vajpayee

In a rare gesture, Prime Minister Modi joined the sea of people who walked down from the BJP headquarters up to the Smriti Sthal, a distance of roughly 5 km.

A coffin decorated with flowers and wrapped in an Indian flag carries the body of late former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his funeral procession in New Delhi on August 17, 2018.

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

Vajpayee suffered a stroke in 2009 and retreated from public view.

"He was a Hindu by heart, but a leader of all by his deeds", said Kumar Krishnen, a mourner on a Delhi streetside.

"His attempts for the betterment of India-Pakistan relationship will always be remembered".

"He was a poet and a writer, but all his literature was based on the common man and his aspirations".

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"In Kolkata we are planning to hold an all party condolence and prayer meeting for Vajpayee ji".

His often conciliatory tone, and poetic jibes directed at opponents, won admiration on both sides of the political divide. Other political leaders at the funeral were Congress president Rahul Gandhi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi, SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal and Congress leader Raj Babbar.

In keeping with the military honours, three service chiefs placed wreaths on the body of Vajpayee before leaders paid their floral tributes.

He was the first non-Congress leader since India's independence in 1947 to complete an entire term in office as head of a BJP-led ruling alliance between March 1998 and May 2004.

Describing former prime minister's death as a "huge personal loss", Singh said he was pained beyond words at the demise of Vajpayee, who had cherished the ideal of a developed and powerful India.

His more than five-decade-long career peaked in the 1990s, when his masterful oratory attracted tens of thousands of people to his rallies across the country.

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