Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on Thursday after a prolonged illness. He breathed his last at 5.05 pm at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over Vajpayee’s demise and said, “I have no words, I am filled with emotions right now.Our respected Atal ji is no more. Every moment of his life he had dedicated to the nation.”
Overwhelmed with sorrow, President Ram Nath Kovind said he was “extremely sad” to hear the passing of the former PM and a “true Indian statesman”.
Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi too expressed his condolence to Vajpayee’s family and all his admirers. “Today India lost a great son. Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, was loved and respected by millions. My condolences to his family & all his admirers. We will miss him,” said Gandhi.
Follow reaction LIVE UPDATES: Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies at 93.
Bharat loses its gleaming Ratna: Sourav Ganguly
Former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly tweeted, "Bharat loses its gleaming Ratna...An amazing soul .. may his soul rest in peace." Vajpayee was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 2015.
Bharat loses its gleaming Ratna...An amazing soul .. may his soul rest in peace pic.twitter.com/Vxq4b2MW9O— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) August 16, 2018
Pakistan's PM-designate Imran Khan extends his condolences, says 'Sub-continent has lost visionary political figure today'
Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf (PYI) chief Imran Khan also extended his condolences over the sad demise of the former PM. The Prime-Minister Imran Khan said, “The sub-continent has lost a phenomenal and a visionary political figure today." Lauding his role in maintaining Pakistan-India bilateral relations, Imran Khan stated that his contribution will never be forgotten.
The PTI chairman stated that there could be political differences between the two countries, however, the desire to establish peace exists on both sides of the border.
Khan also said that the former PM’s sad demise has created a vacuum in the political arena of the sub-continent. In order to pay homage to his tireless services, he said, we can resort to the establishment and promotion of peace across the region. “I extend sympathies to the people of India in this hour of grief,” he said.
Vajpayee's amiability, generosity unique aspects of his personality: Sushma Swaraj
With the sad demise of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, an era has ended. He was liked by his opponents and loved by the party cadres. His amiability and generosity were the unique aspects of his personality. My heartfelt tribute to Shri Atal ji.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 16, 2018
The void behind will remain forever: Mohan Bhagwat
Taking to Twitter, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said, "A great personality, a steadfast and universally accepted leader, who instilled Bharatiya culture and values in public life, Atalji has left us today. The void left behind will remain forever. We join the nation in paying our deepest respects to the departed soul."
A great personality, a steadfast & universally accepted leader, who instilled Bharatiya culture & values in public life, Atalji has left us today. The void left behind will remain forever. We join the nation in paying our deepest respects to the departed soul: Dr Mohan Bhagwat— RSS (@RSSorg) August 16, 2018
Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh recalls his time working under Vajpayee
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh expressed deep sorrow and said Vajpayee was his "guru" and "father figure".
"Over 2.50 crore people of Chhattisgarh will always remember him as the founder of this state. In 1998, Vajpayee had promised to form Chhattisgarh while addressing a massive public rally in Raipur and he fulfilled his promise in 2000 (the year the state came into existence)," he said.
Recalling his time with Vajpayee, Singh said he had the opportunity to work under the leadership of Vajpayee from 1999 to 2003 as a Union minister.
Imran Khan remembers Vajpayee's attempts for betterment of India-Pak relations
#AtalBihariVaajpayee was a tall political personality of the subcontinent.His attempts for the betterment of India-Pak relationship will always be remembered. Mr Vajpayee,as a foreign minister,took responsibility of improving India-Pak ties: Pak PM designate Imran Khan (file pic) pic.twitter.com/NQCWOzLOsw— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
His death leaves behind a huge void: Sonia Gandhi
Former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi says, "throughout his life, he stood for democratic values and demonstrated this commitment in all his acts whether as a parliaemntarian, a cabinet minister or PM."
His warm personality and his gift of friendship won him admirers and friends across the political spectrum and from every walk of life. His death leaves behind a huge void. I join millions of our fellow Indians in mourning his loss and pray for the departed soul: Sonia Gandhi pic.twitter.com/kqvYH3VlUd— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
He was a tree under whose shade many found refuge: Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan
British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith grieves the death of Vajpayee
We are saddened by the passing of former PM of India #AtalBihariVajpayee. We will remember him as one of India’s greatest leaders. Shri Vajpayee was much respected in the UK as a statesman par excellence: British High Commissioner to India, Dominic Asquith (file pic) pic.twitter.com/WPGAMh5PH3— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
We never had any differences: CM N Chandrababu Naidu
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu says "nation has lost a great statesman". Describing Vajpayee as believer of national development, Naidu recalls the time during Kargil when Vajapayee's "statesmanship and great fighting spirit" were witnessed by him.
"I had a good rapport with him. We never had any difference," says Naidu.
Sonia Gandhi mourns passing away of Vajpayee
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a towering figure in India's national life. He was a spell-binding orator, a leader of great vision, a patriot to the core for whom national interest was paramount, says UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/bAc88K3hDz— Manoj C G (@manojcg4u) August 16, 2018
He was our friend & highly respected in Bangladesh: PM Sheikh Hasina
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expresses her heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the government, people and Vajpayee's family members.
In remembrance of the former PM , Hasina calls Vajpayee her friend and recalls his invaluable contribution to the Liberation War in 1971 and how the Bangladesh government had conferred on him the Bangladesh Liberation War Honour.
Deeply shocked at sad demise of former PM of India #AtalBihariVajpayee, one of the most famous sons of India. He'll be remembered for contributing towards good governance & highlighting issues affecting common people of India as well as regional peace& prosperity: Bangladesh PM pic.twitter.com/XqjcdLWBcx— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
India has lost the most admired and respected 'Bhishma Pitamah' of public life: Maharashtra Governor
Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao mourned the death of Atal Bihari Vajpayee referring him as India's most admired and respected 'Bhishma Pitamah'.
Reminiscing Vajpayee's oratory skills and his poetry, rao added, "In his demise, India has lost the most admired and respected 'Bhishma Pitamah' of public life; while I have lost my dearest leader."
He called Vajpayee as his "idol" and mian inpiration to enter into public life.
Pakistan government mourns Vajpayee's demise
Pakistan government mourns Vajpayee's death and recalls his contributions in bringing a change in Indo-Pak relations and a key supporter of SAARC and regional cooperation for development.
He was a renowned statesman who contributed to bringing a change in Indo-Pak relations&remained key supporter of SAARC & regional cooperation for development. Pakistan Govt & people extend their heartfelt condolences to his family & to Govt & people of India: Pakistan government— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik grieves over the passing of Vajpayee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses nation, sends condolence over Vajpayee's demise
After a sending his deep condolence via Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation and referred to Vajpayee as India's 'anmol ratan'. 'We are at a loss of words. His demise has marked the end of an era. In Atal ji's passing away, it is as if I have lost my father. It's a void which can never be filled. My condolences are with his family. His simplicity will always aspire us,' said Modi.
"His loss is beyond words. It is an end of an era. He taught me the value of organisation and rule and gave me the strength and support for it. Whenever he would meet, he would offer a hug," says Modi.
Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee write to Vajpayee's daughter
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former president Pranab Mukherjee wrote to Vajpayee' adopted daughter Namita Bhattacharya and paid their condolences.
Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das and other state signatories express their grief
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das expressed despair over Vajpayee's demise, calling Vajpayee his "guru" akin to his father. Das referred Vajpayee as the "creator" of Jharkhand and said the void would be impossible to fill.
Former Jharkhand chief minister and JMM president Shibu Soren said Vajpayee's demise has left an irreparable loss to politics.
Governor Droupadi Murmu said Vajpayee was not popular just in India but all over the world. He further said Vajpayee was known as a successful creator of coalition politics, never used disrespectful language and dedicated his life for the uplift and welfare of the country and mentioned the quadrilateral roads, Sarva Sikhsa Abhiyan, self-help groups, women's uplift and rural road works taken during his time.
Seven-day state mourning and government holiday tomorrow announced by states
On the demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's, Central government announced a seven-day state mourning throughout India, during which the national flag will be flown at half-mast across the country. State funeral will also be accorded. Following the Central government's announcement, state government including Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab, Bihar, Manipur, Tamil Nadu and Delhi declared mourning and declared a government holiday tomorrow.
The poor has lost their voice: BJP President Amit Shah
BJP President Amit Shah holds a press conference and calls Vajpayee the pole star of the Indian sky. Shah claims it impossible to fill Vajpayee's absence in politics and hails Vajpayee's patriotism. 'Whatever Atal Ji spoke, he spoke in the favour of the country, be it his fight against the Emergency, his stand for Bangladesh or his effort in proliferating Hindi, he did not just work as the chief of the BJP but worked as a politician for the country. May the God give all of us the strength to cope with the demise of Atal ji,' says Shah.
'The country has lost its poet, its orator, the poor have lost its voice, and many youths have lost their inspiration with Atal Ji's demise,' says Shah.
Further, Shah informed at 9 am tomorrow, Vajpayee's mortal remains will be taken to BJP headquarters. At 1 pm his last journey will begin and the funeral will be held at 4 pm at Smriti Sthal.
His passing away is a personal loss: NCP President Sharad Pawar
Sharing Vajpayee's picture, NCP President Sharad Pawar hailed Vajpayee as one of India's greatest parliamentarians. "With the sad demise of Bharatratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, we have lost a great soul, an eloquent poet, orator par excellence, an excellent human being and one of the greatest Parliamentarians of India," Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party chief, wrote on Twitter.
Former Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar described Vajpayee as a leader who followed principles and had faith in the parliamentary democracy. "His oratory skill was unique. There cannot be another orator, leader and human being like him," Ajit Pawar said.
His passing away is a personal loss, having spent numerous years in our parliamentary life together, and an irreparable loss to our country. I pray eternal peace for his departed soul.— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) August 16, 2018
He was the first Prime Minister to understand the agony of our people: Mehbooba Mufti
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor P Sathasivam remember Vajpayee
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described Vajpayee as a great parliamentarian, orator and a diplomat who ably presented India's rights in international platforms.
Governor P Sathasivam said, "With the loftiest ideals of statecraft, the noblest sense of diplomacy and a masterfully poetic oratory, he was a perfect synthesis of sage-like wisdom and modernism. May his soul rest in peace."
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar expresses grief
Counting traits of Vajpayee Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says, "the nation has lost, in his demise, a towering political personality, a brilliant orator, poet, writer and thinker.....his personality earned him the respect of all, beyond political divides".
भारत के पूर्व प्रधानमंत्री एवं भारत रत्न अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी जी का निधन दुःखद। देश ने सबसे बड़े राजनीतिक शख्सियत, प्रखर वक्ता, लेखक, चिंतक, अभिभावक एवं करिश्माई व्यक्तित्व को खो दिया। उन्हें विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि। #AtalBihariVajpayee https://t.co/KhJvuTVaar— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) August 16, 2018
An end of a political era: MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan
"This is an end of a political era, the void of his absence can never be filled," says Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
He was a great politician & loved by millions. It's unimaginable to think that our beloved Atal Ji is no more with us. This is an end of a political era, the void of his absence can never be filled: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan #AtalBihariVajpayee pic.twitter.com/gbtVBCHNaa— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
This kind of a person comes once in a blue moon: Former vice-president Mohd Ansari
#AtalBihariVajpayee was an eminent statesman known for his wisdom moderation intact. His way of communication was unique & made him extremely popular. This kind of a person comes once in a blue moon. He will be remembered for a long time: Former Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari pic.twitter.com/t8aVGSyMnH— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
It's an end of an era: Lalu Prasad Yadav
भारतीय राजनीति में एक युग का अंत। वाजपेयी जी के निधन से मैनें एक मित्र और अभिभावक खो दिया हैं।वो उस राजनीतिक धारा के आखिरी स्तम्भ थे जहां परस्पर विरोधी राजनीतिक विचारधारा के लोग सहज और शालीन संवाद कर सकते थे।और हां! गर्व का विषय है कि अटलजी के नाम मे बिहारी भी था।आप बहुत याद आओगे— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) August 16, 2018
Atal ji was like a star in the sky of politics, which shone brighter than everyone else: Lok Sabha Speaker
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan called Vajpayee a "star in politics" and said even the opposition hold a sense of respect for him.
"Atal ji was like a star in the sky of politics, which shone brighter than everyone else. He had the unique ability to bring everyone together. Even if you ask the opposition they hold a sense of respect for him," says Mahajan.
United States grieves with India on the loss of former Prime Minister: US Embassy
US Embassy grieves with India over the demise of Vajpayee and recalls 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 U.S. Mission in India extends our deepest condolences to the family of former Prime Minister Vajpayee and the citizens of India:US Embassy https://t.co/eJYfl3iM86— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
Sitaram Yechury sends condolences
CPI leader Sitaram Yechury said that "though we opposed each other vehemently on political & ideological issues Atal Behari Vajpayee ji’s good-nature, decency and willingness to engage with all political leaders always made him stand out. Condolences."
A reasoned critique in opposition and a seeker of consensus as PM: Pranab Mukherjee
Describing Vajpayee as "a reasoned critique in opposition and a seeker of consensus as PM," former president Pranab Mukherjee sent his condolences on Twitter. "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," wrote Mukherjee.
Though he was suffering for a long time I did not believe that the end will come. Fate snatched him away from us. He carried conviction with everybody: Former President Pranab Mukherjee #AtalBihariVajpayee pic.twitter.com/ZzSR8GYmMO— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
It is the fact that he had no enemies that was his distinguishing hallmark: P Chidambaram
Reminiscing Vajpayee's efforts to resolve decades-long hostility between Pakistan and India, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram says, "As long as he was at the helm, he resolutely anchored the BJP close to the middle and did not allow the party to swing to the extreme right of the political spectrum."
In a series of tweets, Chidambaram says, "It is not the fact that Vajpayee-ji had many friends, it is the fact that he had no enemies that was his distinguishing hallmark."
Vajpayee-ji was a man of great wisdom, tolerance and compassion. He led his party to its first victory in national elections and established the credentials of the BJP to run the central government.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) August 16, 2018
His ashes will be spread in every river of UP: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath
Ratan Tata admires Vajpayee's 'great sense of compassion and humour'
Chairman of Tata Trusts Ratan Tata expresses his sorrow over the demise of Vajpayee and says, "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."
Kiran Bedi fondly remembers Vajpayee
Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi sent out her condolences and fondly remembered an incident with Vajpayee when they were standing in the same queue for a boarding pass to take a flight and he smilingly acknowledged her greetings and patiently waited for his turn.
"India loses a stalwart and a very good human being who adorned the highest executive position," says Bedi.
Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje shares a picture with Vajpayee
Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje said, "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."
"I remember those early days of BJP when under Atal ji and Rajmata ji I took my first steps into politics. Learning the ropes from the best, Atal ji’s wisdom and wit always proved to be an unmatched combination - his trademark style that India came to love," Raje wrote on Twitter.
He may be not with us physically but his vision will always be with us: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis
He may be not with us physically but his vision will always be with us, losing a person whom we always looked up to is a personal loss for all of us and I am sure we will always take inspiration from his ideology: Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra CM on #AtalBihariVajpayee pic.twitter.com/PtNF4tPYSA— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2018
CM Mamata Banerjee expresses her sorrow
Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee expresses her grief and says, "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."
L K Advani remembers Vajpayee
Former deputy prime minister L K Advani expressed his deep grief and sadness and called Vajpayee as his "senior colleague and closest friend for over 65 years".
Advani spoke of his long association with Vajpayee going back to the "days as Pracharaks of the RSS, to the inception of Bharatiya Jana Singh, the struggle of the dark months during the Emergency leading to the formation of Janata Party and later the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980."
"Atalji will be remembered as the pioneer of the first ever stable non-Congress coalition government at the Centre and I had the privilege of working as his deputy for six years," said Advani.