New Delhi, Aug 17 : Former prime minister and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal in Delhi.
Among the leaders present at the venue for the last rites ceremony are Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, and his deputy Manish Sisodia, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Ashok Gehlot and Raj Babbar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and other senior leaders including L.K. Advani and Sitaram Yechury, and thousands of people paid their tributes as the mortal remains of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee reached the party’s central office here on Friday.
— ANI (@ANI) August 17, 2018
Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, PM Narendra Modi, Former PM Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP President Amit Shah, senior BJP leader LK Advani, Congress President Rahul Gandhi at Smriti Sthal in Delhi for funeral of former PM #AtalBihariVajpayee pic.twitter.com/o44tp47XxD
— ANI (@ANI) August 17, 2018
Vajpayee will be given a state funeral at around 4 p.m. at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna. His last journey from the party headquarters to Sthal will begin at 1 p.m. Several roads in the national capital will remain closed for the public today due to the funeral procession of the former PM, as per an advisory issued by Delhi Police.
The body, draped in the national flag reached the 6-A Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg headquarters in a procession which was joined by a large number of people from different parts of the country who chanted “Jab tak sooraj chand rahega, Atalji ka naam rahega”, “Bharat Mata ki jai” and “Vande Mataram” in unision to pay their tributes to the departed leader.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu , National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and all the three armed forces chiefs and a host of leaders paid homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose body was lying in state at his residence.
Former Prime Minister of India and the BJP’s tallest leader and co-founder Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away at 5.05 pm on Thursday. He was 93.As the casket reached the party office, people turned emotional and some of them had tears in their eyes in memory of their beloved leader who had a pan-India appeal. They had gathered outside the party office in large numbers since morning to pay their tributes. Security men had a hard time keeping the crowds in check.The country is observing a seven-day state mourning as a mark of respect for the leader who had been decorated with Bharat Ratna and was very popular. The tricolour is flying half-staff.
Delhi government offices, schools and institutions are closed on Friday and central government offices will work for half-a-day.
The body was brought from the Krishna Menon Marg residence of the former Prime Minister in a flower-decked hearse drawn by a military truck.
They later paid their tributes by offering flowers to the body of the late leader. The mortal remains were kept in front of a large smiling picture of Vajpayee. A party flag had been placed on each side of the photograph.
Advani, a long-time associate of Vajpayee, visited the new party office to pay his tributes. Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D. Raja also paid their tributes. Among those present were union ministers, chief ministers, state ministers, MPs, MLAs and BJP office-bearers.
The Supreme Court has declared half day Holiday for courts in light of the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. No hearing will take place after 1 pm on Friday.
Officers from the three armed forces draped the body in the Tricolour on Thursday before enabling leaders and people to pay their last respects at his residence in central Delhi’s Krishna Menon Marg.
A few roads that will remain closed from 8 am today include Krishna Menon Marg, Tughlaq Road, Akbar Road and DDU Marg.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s final journey live in full state honours
“It was the specialty of Atal ji that he never let humanity be harmed due to the political & ideological differences. Such a principle is needed in the country today,” said Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) General Secretary.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, and AAP MP Sanjay Singh pay last respects to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at BJP Headquarters.
“I met him once in 2006. He was a very good orator. The void of his absence can never be filled by anyone in Indian politics, he has been a role model for everyone and inspired many through his poetry, speeches, and oratorship,” says filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali arrives in Delhi, he will be attending the funeral of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Veteran BJP leader LK Advani and his daughter Pratibha Advani with Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray and his family at the BJP Headquarters.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah said, “He wanted India to be everybody’s. He also wanted to strike up a friendship with Pakistan. Unfortunately he couldn’t see that. I hope that the current govt and Pakistan’s Imran Khan government will fulfill his dream, that will be a true tribute to him.
Yogi Adityanath, Sarbananda Sonowal and other senior leader pay their respects
Senior BJP leaders such as Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Ram Naik gathered at the saffron party headquarters to pay their last respects to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. DMK leader A Raja was also seen there.
Leaders from Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh to attend Vajpayee’s funeral
Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, Nepal’s Foreign Affairs Min PK Gyawal, Sri Lanka acting Foreign Min Lakshman Kiriella, Bangladesh Foreign Min Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali & Pak Law Min Ali Zafar will arrive in Delhi today to pay tributes to former PM
— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
Bhutanese king igme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk arrived in the National Capital on Friday and is here to attend the last rites of Bharat Ratna awardee and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He will be joined by a host of foreign dignitaries including foreign minister of Nepal, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, and Bangladesh, AH Mahmood Ali.
Sri Lanka’s Department of Government Information confirmed that the country’s acting foreign affairs minister Lakshman Kiriella would grace his presence at the funeral service of 93-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart, as the special envoy of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Pakistan’s acting Law and Information Minister Ali Zafar is likely to attend the last rites of former Indian prime minister.
The final journey begins: Vajpayee’s mortal remains are being carried to BJP HQ from his residence on Krishna Menon Marg. The mortal remains are accompanied by armed forces personnel who are guarding the chariot.
— ANI (@ANI) August 17, 2018
Mortal will be placed in a glass coffin.
Indian Navy Chief Sunil Lanba, Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat, Indian Air Force Chief B.S. Dhanoa were among those who paid homage to the late leader who died at the age of 93 at the AIIMS on Thursday.
Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, famous song writer Javed Akthar and his wife Shabana Azmi also paid their homage to Vajpayee. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu also paid his homage to the former Prime Minister.
His body will be brought to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters at 6-A Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg at 9 a.m.
His funeral procession will begin at 1 p.m. and the last rites will be performed at 4 p.m. at Smriti Sthal.