India's former PM Vajpayee passes away

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee continues to be critical and on life support a bulletin released by AIIMS on Thursday said

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee continues to be critical and on life support a bulletin released by AIIMS on Thursday said

He addressed the United Nations General Assembly in 2001 and a joint session of the US Congress in 2000.

A statement released by the hospital treating him said "his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems". Kaun hai jo Atal reh paya zindagi bhar, Atal banke wo zindagi ko paa gaya. Man who deserves nothing but respect. A parliamentarian for over four decades, he was conferred the Bharat Ratna in 2015.

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.

But the next year, when Islamabad sent fighters across the ceasefire line that divides the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir between the nations, Vajpayee resisted military pressure to launch a broad counter-attack of Indian forces.

He also became the first non-Congress leader since India's independence in 1947 to complete an entire term in office as head of a BJP-led ruling alliance between March 1998 and May 2004.

Vajpayee was twice elected prime minister, first for 13 days in 1996 and then from 1998 to 2004. #AtalBihariVajpayee contributed so much for the betterment of the country. From Karan V Grover to Smriti Irani, everyone is wishing for his soul to rest in peace. We as a nation will miss you sir #AtalBihariVaajpayee ji.

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"The government and people of Pakistan extend their heartfelt condolences to his family and to the government and people of India", it added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee in NY. One of the few politicians I always respected for his honesty and devotion to the national cause.

"The Indian Cricket Team and BCCI condoles the sad demise of former India Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee". He spent each moment of his life for the country.

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) Chairman Naveen Jindal said He was a great leader and excellent statesman who was loved and admired all. "My Heartfelt tribute to the departed soul #AtalBihariVaajpayee".

A vocal politician on the issue of Kashmir, Vajpayee made honest efforts to normalise relations between India and Pakistan.

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