Atal Bihari Vajpayee Funeral: Last rites of the former prime minister to be performed at 4 pm
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral and last rites have begun. The 93-year-old stalwart's funeral procession has begun, with thousands, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, BJP chief Amit Shah, Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Home minister Rajnath Singh, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi and thousands of others paying their tributes.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee died on Thursday evening at 5.05 pm after being admitted to All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi for over 9 weeks.
His body was initially kept at Krishna Menon Marg, his official residence, last night where a stream of leaders visited to pay their homage. Hundreds gathered outside his residence to pay their tributes to the three-time prime minister this morning.
His body was later taken to BJP headquarters.
Terming Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death as "end of an era", PM Modi had said that it was like losing a father. A seven-day state mourning has been announced by the central government as a mark of respect to former Prime Minister.
Here are the highlights from Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral:
Akhilesh Yadav Shares Wedding Photo As He Remembers Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav's tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee featured a slice of nostalgia from nearly two decades ago. Showering praise on the BJP icon who died at Delhi's AIIMS hospital yesterday, Mr Yadav shared a picture of Mr Vajpayee blessing him and wife Dimple Yadav on their wedding in November 1999.
Vajpayee mixed with RSS ideology like sugar in milk: Shiv Sena
Shiv Sena today said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a true 'swayamsevak' (volunteer) of the RSS who mixed with the organisation's ideology like "sugar dissolves in milk" and his Hinduta ideology was never hidden, according to news agency PTI.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Hindutva ideology was never hidden, the Sena said.
Except for Shiv Sena and Akali Dal, nobody else was ready to support his Hindutva ideology and as a result, he had to keep issues like Ram temple and uniform civil code aside, it said.
LK Advani, M Venkaiah Naidu look on Atal Bihari Vajpayee's last rites Gun salute for Atal Bihari Vajpayee "Long Live Atal Bihari": Last rites, gun salute begins for Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's last rites have begun. Atal Bihari Vajpayee's foster daughter lit his funeral pyre. A gun salute was performed as well along with the last rites. People present are chanting "Long Live Atal Bihari".
Namita Bhattacharya, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's foster daughter is performing last rites
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral pyre Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pays his respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee LK Advani, former Deputy Prime Minister and one of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's closest friends pays his tributes BJP Chief Amit Shah pays his respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee PM Modi, Amit Shah and LK Advani pay their respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck pays his respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee President Ram Nath Kovind, Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman pay their tributes PM Modi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Sumitra Mahajan and Murli Manohar Joshi pay their respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee Defence Forces pay tributes to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal Funeral programme itinerary at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal, issued by the Ministry of Defence Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's body being taken at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal PM Modi, Rajnath Singh at Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral procession at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal Atal Bihari Vajapayee's funeral procession reaches Rashtriya Smriti Sthal
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral procession has reached Rashtriya Smriti Sthal, which is 4 kilometres away from the BJP headquarters in Delhi.
The funeral is being attended by many, including PM Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, union minister Rajnath Singh and many other dignitaries.
PM Modi writes a blog over "leader of the ages" Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote a blog post over Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death. In the post, he wrote, "In times of turbulence and disruption, a nation is blessed to have a leader who rises to become its moral compass and guiding spirit, providing vision, cohesion and direction to his people."
Thousands, including PM Narendra Modi, march to mourn Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death
Press Information Bureau has tweeted a video showcasing Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Preparations at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal memorial site ahead of the final rites of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 10,000-15,000 people are to be expected at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal for the funeral of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Three cabinet ministers in-charge of preparation. Diplomats from several countries to attend. Arrangements being made for over 20,000 people. Leaders from several parties across the country are also expected to be in attendance. A separate entrance will also allow general public to visit the spot. The body of Atal Bihari Vajpayee is expected to reach the ground for the last rites later in the evening.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee completed his graduation from victoria College - now MLB college - in Gwalior and then moved to Kanpur for a higher degree.
The building is old and crumbling, but the school has somehow managed to preserve the register with Vajpayee's name in his handwriting.
"This is a historic document for us. At number 101 is Atal Bihari Vajpayee's name. He wrote it down when he was admitted in Class 6 in 1935," said KS Rathore, the school principal.
"The identity of this school is Atal-ji, we only want that it should be named after him."
Students of Gurukul pay tribute to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Surat.
Mr Vajpayee was 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. A former journalist, his rich oratory and poetic jibes directed at opponents were popular on both sides of the political divide.
Congress' Priya Dutt pays tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee
The last rites of Atal Bihari Vajpayee are to be conducted by his foster son in law Ranjan Kishore Bhattacharya at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal. Mr Bhattacharya, during the 13 day government in 1996, was his officer on special duty.
PM Modi along with BJP chief Amit Shah join the procession and walk along with the hearse carrying Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Thousands of mourners at Atal Bihari Vajpayee's final journey.People hold posters and shout slogans praising the iconic leader.
What I Learnt From Atal-ji - By Nitish Kumar
Had it not been the leadership of Atal-ji, I would not have learned basics that I practice in governance even today; he effortlessly demonstrated that you could oppose other politicians while being immaculately polite to them; he took questions from journalists on the toughest topics and in the most adverse of situations; his innate and unfailing faith in our parliamentary democracy and how to treat allies with respect was a trademark.
Prime Minister Modi joins funeral procession of Atal Bihari Vajpayee along with BJP chief Amit Shah as the body of the former prime minister is being taken from the BJP headquarters.
"Politicians are rarely speechless,
Yet today so many of us,
Are filled with emotions,
Lost for words,
And memories in his footsteps;
To pay tribute to the statesman,
Who was Everyones Leader."
-- Anurag Thakur on Atal Bihari Vajpayee
The body of Atal Bihari Vajpayee being moved from the BJP headquarters. His body will be taken to the memorial site - Rashtriya Smriti Sthal on a final funeral procession.
United Nations pay tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays a wreath on the mortal remains of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as he pays last respects at BJP headquarters
Glimpse of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral procession from his Krishna Maarg residence this morning to the BJP headquarters where his body currently is. The funeral procession for the final rites are to begin later in the day.
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.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal condoled the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying his death was "a great loss" for the country.
"Am deeply saddened. A great loss for India," Mr Kejriwal had tweeted.
Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India on Atal Bihari Vajpayee:
He was an enormously important person who we have great respect for and it's a great loss for India. I wanted to pay my respects to a man of that stature
Delhi Traffic Police on the funeral procession that is to begin at 1 pm
For Lucknow, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Legacy Is More Than Just Roads
The morning after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died, the consensus in Lucknow - which he represented five times in parliament - was that his most important legacy for the city was a 24-km peripheral highway called the Shaheed Path. This road, now fully operational, has decongested Lucknow in a big way.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav posted two images as tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Twitter with a caption roughly translated as, "Late Atal ji raised politics above party politics, taught us to stay unrelenting about party principles and personal philosophy, whenever politics strayed off course, he showed the right way, taught us to seek out friendship with other nations. With Atal ji's passing, the world of Indian politics and literature has lost a prominent voice. Silent salutation!"
The national flag flown at half-mast at the Rashtrapati Bhavan following the death of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A seven-day state mourning had been announced by the central government as a mark of respect to former prime minister.
Many states including Punjab, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Odisha had announced a public holiday today as a mark of respect to the former prime minister who was considered one of the country's most respected politicians.
10,000-15,000 people are to be expected at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal for the funeral of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Three cabinet ministers in-charge of preparation. Diplomats from several countries to attend. Arrangements being made for over 20,000 people. Leaders from several parties across the country are also expected to be in attendance. A separate entrance will also allow general public to visit the spot. The body of Atal Bihari Vajpayee is expected to reach the ground for the last rites around 4 pm.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat signing a tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "The going away of Atal Ji will leave a vacancy in our mind that is impossible to fill. We don't find a person like him over and again," a tweet by him roughly translates to.
"Vajpayee was a steadfast & universally accepted leader, a great personality who instilled Bharatiya culture & values in public life (sic)," Mr Bhagwat had tweeted yesterday using the RSS's Twitter handle.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's body, draped in the tricolour, was placed on a platform decorated with white flowers at the BJP headquarters. Hundreds of people pay their tribute with a large portrait of a smiling Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the backdrop.
Traffic advisory by the Delhi Police on the route for Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral procession.
The procession will pass through Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Delhi Gate, Netaji Subhash Marg and Shanti Van to reach Rashtriya Smriti Samadhi area where the BJP leader will be cremated at 4pm.
Restrictions have been put in place to ensure smooth traffic movement. Citizens have been advised to take alternate routes to avoid traffic snarls. They have also be advised to leave their cars at home and use the Delhi Metro if possible.
Students place candles around a painting featuring former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to pay homage in Mumbai, August 16, 2018. (Reuters)
PM Modi at BJP headquarters where Atal Bihari Vajpayee's body is being kept.
In his first reaction after Mr Vajpayee's death, a deeply emotional tweet in Hindi from the Prime Minister read, "I'm speechless, I feel a great void, yet I'm overcome by emotions".
In a blog later, the Prime Minister wrote, "In times of turbulence and disruption, a nation is blessed to have a leader who rises to become its moral compass and guiding spirit, providing vision, cohesion and direction to his people. And, in such a moment at the turn of the century, India found one in Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was gifted in spirit, heart and mind".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote an emotional blog for the departed leader, Atal Bhari Vajpayee, who he said "was guiding spirit, providing vision, cohesion and direction to his people". The blog was posted on narendramodi.in.
A leader for the ages, he was ahead of the times...
Prime Minister Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah along with several other top leaders including Rajnath Singh pay tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the BJP headquarters.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's body brought to the BJP headquarters where PM Modi, Amit Shah among several BJP leaders are present.
BJP chief Amit Shah shares photos with Atal Bihari Vajpayee captioning it in Hindi, roughly translates to -- "Some unforgetable moments with Atal Ji"
Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, Nepal's Foreign Affairs Mininster PK Gyawal, Sri Lanka acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Bangladesh Foreign Minster Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Pakistan Law Minister Ali Zafar will arrive in Delhi today to pay tributes to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee: news agency ANI
Body of Atal Bihari Vajpayee taken from his Krishna Marg residence to BJP headquarters
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's final journey to BJP Headquarters
Gun carriage of Atal Bihari Vajpayee taken from his Krishna Marg residence to the BJP headquarters where Prime Minister Modi, Amit Shah among others are present.
For Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Funeral, Traffic Not Allowed On These Roads
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who breathed his last this evening, will be cremated on Friday with full state honour. His body, which is resting at his Krishna Menon Marg home, will be taken to the BJP headquarters around 9 am. His last journey will begin from there at 1 pm.
Glimpse of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Krishna Marg residence.
Body of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee being taken to BJP Headquarters. The three forces -- Army, Navy and Air Force give him the last salute
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral procession begins with last salute by the three forces -- Army, Navy and Air Force. His body will now be moved to BJP headquarters.
PM Narendra Modi arrives at BJP Headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg where Atal Bihari Vajpayee's body will be brought shortly. Amit Shah among other leaders also present at the party headquarters.
Army, Air Force and Navy trucks ahead of the funeral procession outside Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence.