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Atal Bihari Vajpayee death reactions: Subcontinent has lost visionary political figure today, says Imran Khan

Atal Bihari Vajpayee dead: "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," Rahul Gandhi said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 17, 2018 7:28:23 am
Atal Bihari Vajpayee passes away at the age of 93.

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.”

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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.

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Follow reaction LIVE UPDATES: Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies at 93.


    23:33 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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.

    23:12 (IST)16 Aug 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.

    23:05 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    Vajpayee's amiability, generosity unique aspects of his personality: Sushma Swaraj
    23:04 (IST)16 Aug 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."

    22:26 (IST)16 Aug 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.

    22:19 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    Imran Khan remembers Vajpayee's attempts for betterment of India-Pak relations
    22:18 (IST)16 Aug 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."

    22:10 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    He was a tree under whose shade many found refuge: Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan
    22:04 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith grieves the death of Vajpayee
    22:03 (IST)16 Aug 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.

    21:56 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    Sonia Gandhi mourns passing away of Vajpayee

    21:53 (IST)16 Aug 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.

    21:43 (IST)16 Aug 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.

    21:38 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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.

    21:28 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik grieves over the passing of Vajpayee
    21:21 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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. 

    21:06 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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.

    21:01 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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.

    20:48 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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.

    20:34 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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. 

    20:16 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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.

    20:11 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    He was the first Prime Minister to understand the agony of our people: Mehbooba Mufti
    20:03 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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."

    19:59 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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".

    19:53 (IST)16 Aug 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.

    19:51 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    This kind of a person comes once in a blue moon: Former vice-president Mohd Ansari
    19:43 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    It's an end of an era: Lalu Prasad Yadav
    19:40 (IST)16 Aug 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. 

    19:38 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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.

    19:31 (IST)16 Aug 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."

    19:29 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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.

    19:25 (IST)16 Aug 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."

    19:17 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    His ashes will be spread in every river of UP: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath
    19:16 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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."

    19:13 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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. 

    19:08 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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. 

    19:04 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    He may be not with us physically but his vision will always be with us: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis
    19:00 (IST)16 Aug 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." 

    18:58 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    India lost a great son: Rahul Gandhi
    18:57 (IST)16 Aug 2018
    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.

    A host of leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the BJP patriarch at AIIMS. A voracious reader, Vajpayee was widely known and respected for his love for poetry and as an eloquent speaker. He was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 1992 in recognition of his services to the nation.

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