Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies at 93, Centre declares 7-day national mourning

Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies at 93, Centre declares 7-day national mourning
LK Advani, senior BJP leader: I am at a loss of words to express my deep grief and sadness today as we all mourn the passing away of one of India’s tallest statesmen, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. To me, Atalji was more than a senior colleague — in fact, he was my closest friend for over 65 years.

US Embassy in India: United States grieves with India the loss of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He will be remembered for his immense contribution in bolstering US-India relations. 
During his tenure, Prime Minister Vajpayee advocated for robust partnership with the United States, referring to us as 'natural allies'. The US Mission in India extends our deepest condolences to the family of former Prime Minister Vajpayee and the citizens of India.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Madhya Pradesh CM: He was a great politician and was loved by millions. It's unimaginable to think that our beloved Atal Ji is no more with us. This is the end of a political era, the void of his absence can never be filled.

Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh CM: He worked in national interest rather than personal interest. He brought a political stability to our country. His ashes will be spread in every river in UP to respect his grand stature.

BREAKING: The government has announced 7-day national mourning from August 16 to August 22 after Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death. The flag will fly half-mast and the former prime minister will be accorded a state funeral.

Sachin Tendulkar, former cricketer: India is at a great loss today. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji’s contributions to our nation have been innumerable. Thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones.

Naveen Patnaik, Odisha CM: I am deeply grieved by the sad demise of former PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He was one of the tallest leaders of the country. He was much loved by the people of India and more so by the people of Odisha. May his soul rest in peace.

Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister: Very very saddened that the great statesman and former PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji is no more with us. His passing away is a very big loss to our nation. I will always cherish the many fond memories. Condolences to his family and his many admirers.

FLASHBACK: In this July 15, 2001 file photo, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee shakes hands with the then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf shortly before the start of the Agra Summit in Agra. 

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons: All of us who knew Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee are saddened to hear of his passing away. He was a great leader with a great sense of compassion and humour. He will be remembered fondly by a vast number of us.

Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra Chief Minister: Its impossible to believe that Atal ji is no more,an irreparable loss. Atalji will continue to inspire us by his thoughts, principles and teachings! Not just in the past, he will continue to be a role model for generations to come. My Pranam to RashtraRushi Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji!

JUST IN: The mortal remains of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be kept at the BJP headquarters in Delhi tomorrow for last tributes.

 Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party president: His passing away is a personal loss. Having spent numerous years in our parliamentary life together, his is an irreparable loss to our country. I pray eternal peace for his departed soul.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party patriarch: It is a big loss for the country. He was a very simple man inspite of being such a senior leader.There was not even a shred of arrogance in him. Current leaders need to learn a lot from him.

Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan Chief Minister: With the passing of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, India has lost its tallest leader of modern times, a political thinker whose wit was unparalleled and a champion of India — even when the motherland was marred by the emergency and had lost all hope.

 Tejashwi Yadav, Leader of Opposition in Bihar: Deeply saddened by the demise of stalwart of Indian politics and a father figure to all of us, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. He has left a big void in Indian politics which future generations will keep on struggling to fill, for the ages to come! we will miss him. RIP!

TTV Dhinakaran, AMMK general secretary: I am deeply pained to hear the news about the demise of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. An exemplary parliamentarian, he envisioned the nation's development and brought several laurels to the country during his long innings in politics. Known for his humane approach, Atal ji propagated brotherhood during his entire life. His demise is a great loss to the nation. My sincere condolences to his family and followers

Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh: I have learnt with profound sorrow about the sad demise of Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. He was an excellent orator, an impressive poet, an exceptional public servant, an outstanding Parliamentarian and a great Prime Minister.

I have lost my closest friend, says LK Advani

JUST IN: BJP veteran leader LK Advani condoles the demise of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, calls him his "closest friend for over 65 years".

Former Union minister Salman Khurshid to CNN-News18: His talent and enormous stature sat easily on his shoulders. He made one feel so comfortable. That speaks volumes about the leadership that he gave to this country.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh: 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.

Farooq Abdullah, Jammu and Kashmir's National Conference leader: A great son of this nation has passed away. When he became the Prime Minister, he had to run 23 parties. But he managed them with his softness and clean heart.

Meanwhile, Chinese Xinhua News Agency has used George Fernandes' picture to break the news of Atal Bihari Vajpayee passing away.

Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah: Vajpayee Sahib is no more & I feel a personal sense of loss at his passing. Thank you sir for the opportunities, for the trust you reposed in me, for the opportunities to travel with you & to learn from you. You will be greatly missed.
Words mean so little at a time like this, but words are all we have to convey the deepest condolences to Gunu, to Neha, to Ranjan & the entire family. May God give you strength to bear this tremendous loss. 

Former President Pranab Mukherjee: Deeply saddened at the passing away of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A reasoned critique in opposition and a seeker of consensus as PM, Atal ji was a democrat to the core. In his passing away, India has lost a great son and an era has come to an end. My deepest condolences.

BREAKING: His body will be taken to the BJP office tomorrow, where the public can pay homage, followed by cremation before sun sets, most likely at Ekta Sthal. Army officials have confirmed that gun carriage is ready for the former prime minister's mortal remains, news reports suggest

 Rajinikanth, actor-turned-politician: I’m saddened to hear of the demise of a great statesman Shri Vajpayee ji. May his soul rest in peace.

Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu:
He was a real ‘Ajatha shatruvu’ (One who has no enemies) who got along with people from all sections. He was the first non-congress PM, an able leader and provided a stable government. He practiced politics of principles and infused values into politics.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi: It was due to the perseverance and struggles of Atal Ji that the BJP was built brick by brick. He travelled across the length and breadth of India to spread the BJP's message, which led to the BJP becoming a strong force in our national polity and in several states.

UPDATE: India continues to pray for former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the next health bulletin should be released anytime

Congress MLA Randeep Singh Surjewala: Our prayers and  wishes for early recovery of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. His resilience and resolve to fight the toughest battles has been legendary. We pray that he’ll overcome the present challenge with the same fortitude.

FLASHBACK: Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a diabetic patient, has been undergoing treatment at AIIMS since June 11. He was admitted to the hospital for what doctors described as a routine check-up.

Gopal Krishna Agarwal, BJP national spokesperson: I pray for Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee his political life and deeds is inspiration to all political class.

JUST IN: AIIMS' next health bulletin on Atal Bihari Vajpayee expected at 5.30pm.

Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh: Chhattisgarh and the entire nation is praying for him. We pray to the God to make him healthy soon and bless him with a long life.

JUST IN: Bihar Chief MInister Nitish Kumar reaches AIIMS hospital

Former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti: Worried about former PM Vajpayee ji's health. He and his family are in my thoughts and prayers. I can never forget the love and affection he showered upon me every time we met.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies at 93, Centre declares 7-day national mourning - LK Advani, senior BJP leader: I am at a loss of words to express my deep grief and sadness today as we all mourn the passing away of one of India’s tallest statesmen, Atal Bihari Vajpayee

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