--------- AMP -----------
Wednesday , November 14 2018

India’s three-time PM Vajpayee dies

Former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee – AFP

NEW DELHI, Aug 16, (AFP): Three-time Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has died, current leader Narendra Modi said Thursday of the ailing 93-year-old who had been hospitalised. “It was Atal Ji’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century,” Modi said in a tweet Thursday, using a Hindi-language honorific.

“Atal Ji’s passing away is a personal and three-time Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has died, current leader Narendra Modi said Thursday of the ailing 93-year-old who had been hospitalised. “It was Atal Ji’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century,” Modi said in a tweet Thursday, using a Hindi-language honorific.

“Atal Ji’s passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me.” for me.” Modi lead a procession of Indian leaders to visit Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his bedside earlier Thursday after the three-time premier was put on life support. The 93-year-old has battled poor health for years but his condition has deteriorated sharply in recent days, doctors said, sparking a flurry of visits from top dignitaries.

“He is critical and is on life support systems,” All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital in Delhi said in a statement Thursday. He was hospitalised more than two months ago with a kidney infection and chest ailment but illness has kept him out of the public eye for years. Vajpayee, a former journalist and poet turned politician, is credited with helping lay the foundations for the meteoric rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the political powerhouse that rules India today.

Modi, party chief Amit Shah and BJP ministers Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh were among the top figures to visit the stricken Vajpayee on Thursday. None have spoken publicly about his condition, but the surge in visits has stoked speculation that Vajpayee could be fast fading.

Vajpayee was one of the few opposition lawmakers inside parliament when India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, still held office. His more than five-decade long career peaked in the 1990s, when his masterful oratory attracted tens of thousands of people to his rallies across the country. 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.

Check Also

Indian guru, 14 followers sentenced to life in prison

HISAR, India, Oct 16, (Agencies): A court in northern India sentenced a Hindu guru and …

Translate »