India’s three-time prime minister Vajpayee dies at 93

April FrancisAug 18, 2018

"EAM @SushmaSwaraj met with former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and leaders talked about great role played by former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in consolidating democracy in Afghanistan", the MEA spokesperson tweeted.

The body of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been taken to his residence in the national capital where people can pay their last respects, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.

Vajpayee, a former journalist and poet-turned-politician, was credited with helping lay the foundations for the meteoric rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the right-wing political powerhouse that rules India today.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with BJP president Amit Shah, led the tens of thousands of admirers of the former PM, keeping pace with the Army vehicle carrying the mortal remains of Vajpayee. Others attending the ceremony were, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, and Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Ashok Gehlot and Raj Babbar.

"Heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of India on the passing of #AtalBihariVajpayee".

"The demise of such a great leader is a great loss not only to India but also to Japan and other parts of Asia as well as the entire global community".

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Vajpayee, who passed away at AIIMS on Thursday evening, had a pan-India appeal and his flair for foreign policy and initiatives were acknowledged globally. Khan said in a statement that Vajpayee was a prominent political personality of the sub-continent and his death has created a big void.

Vajpayee served three times as India's prime minister; for 13 days in 1996, for 13 months from 1998 to 1999, and then from 1999 to 2004.

He further said that by creating peace between the two countries, "we can truly recognize the service of Vajpayee".

As prime minister, Mr Vajpayee was not afraid to take risks.

Japan's envoy to India, Kenji Hiramatsu also expressed grief over Vajpayee's death, stating that he was one of the most inspiring world leaders of our times.

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