It’s the end of an era in Indian politics. Former Prime minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee passes away at 93.

Vajpayee breathed his last in AIIMS at 5.05pm after battling for life at the hospital for over 9 weeks.

One of India’s best parliamentarians, Vajpayee had a special meaning for the Northeast. It was during his tenure as PM that the region got a separate central ministry.

He had also directed all central ministries to keep aside 10 percent of its annual allocation for the region.

With the demise of Vajpayee the country has lost a great statesman, intellectual and poet par excellence.

Soon after the news of Vajpayee’s demise spread, condolences began to pour in led by President Ramnath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Meanwhile, as mark of respect to the departed leader, the Urban Development ministry has allocated approximately 1.5 acre of land at Vijay Ghat to be developed as a memorial for Vajpayee.

The mortal remains of Vajpayee is meanhwile, being shifted to his residence.

Condoling Vajpayee’s demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted “Atal Ji’s passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me. I have countless fond memories with him. He was an inspiration to Karyakartas like me. I will particularly remember his sharp intellect and outstanding wit”.

Meanwhile, in his tweet condoling Vajpayee’s demise President Ramnath Kovind said “I am 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”.

A 7 day state mourning has been declared throughout the country as a mark of respect to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The flag will be flown half mast during the period.

It was during Vajpayee’s prime minister-ship that two nuclear tests were carried out in the deserts of Pokhran in Rajasthan on May 11 and 13, 1998.

The Vajpayee government declared that the tests were conducted only as deterrence and believed in the “no first use” policy of nuclear weapons. At the end of that month, Pakistan also carried out similar tests in Baluchistan.

The nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan not only escalated tensions in South Asia but also raised concerns all over world.

India was condemned by west, and economic sanctions were imposed. But these tests made the world take note of India as a nuclear power.


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