Published On: Thu, Aug 16th, 2018

Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee is no more, nation to observe 7-day mourning

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died on Thursday afternoon after long illness.

He was said to be stable for the last nine weeks but his health suffered a setback on Sunday and worsened

The 93-year-old leader, who had faded from public life for more than a decade following health complications and was admitted to AIIMS with urinary tract infection on June 11, breathed his last at 5.05 pm, the hospital said in a statement.

“It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 05:05pm on 16.08.2018. Shri Vajpayee was admitted in AIIMS on 11.06.2018 and was stable in the last 9 weeks under the care of a team of AIIMS doctors. Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today. We join the nation in deeply mourning this great loss,” Dr (Prof) Aarti Vij, chairperson media and protocol division of AIIMS said in a press statement while announcing the demise of the leader.

Vajpayee, a diabetic, was undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was said to be stable for the last nine weeks but his health suffered a setback on Sunday and worsened on Wednesday.

That things were getting worse could be gleaned from the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made two visits to AIIMS in the last two days.

Rich tributes poured from across the political spectrum for Vajpayee who had the reputation of having no enemies in politics.

Modi described the passing away of Vajpayee as “the end of an era” and every Indian and the BJP worker would continue to be guided by his vision.

President Ram Nath Kovind said Vajpayee was a “true Indian statesman”.

“His leadership, foresight, maturity and eloquence put him in a league of his own.”

Congress President Rahul Gandhi said Vajpayee was loved and respected by millions. “Today, India lost a great son.”

Earlier, as news of deterioration of his health spread, national leaders, including Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, BJP brass — party President Amit Shah, veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, cabinet ministers, chief ministers and opposition leaders Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee visited the hospital during the day.

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