Nation pays tearful adieu to Vajpayee

Nation pays tearful adieu to Vajpayee

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New Delhi, Aug 17, 2018:

A grateful nation paid a tearful adieu to one of its most beloved and charismatic leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday.

As the cortege with the mortal remains of the former Prime Minister wound its way from the BJP national headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg to the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal on bank of Yamuna, thousands of people lined up on both sides of the road to catch a last glimpse of their beloved leader and showered flower petals.

Undermining security concerns and breaking protocol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several of his Cabinet colleagues, including Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, besides BJP president Amit Shah and a host of leaders and workers from the ruling party, walked behind the casket during the entire length of its journey. The three Service Chiefs too accompanied the walking VVIPs.

President Ram Nath Kobind and BJP stalwart LK Advani were among a host of leaders present at the funeral site.

Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Sri Lanka’s Acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Pakistan’s acting Information Minister Syed Zafar Ali and a senior minister from Afghanistan were among a host of international leaders to be present at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal to pay their last respects to the departed soul.

Several prominent leaders from other parties, including Dr Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Farouque Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, besides Chief Ministers of several States, were also present at the funeral site.

Vajpayee was accorded a State funeral and his body was brought to Rashtriya Smriti Sthal wrapped in the national flag. And guns boomed in his honour as his funeral pyre was lit by his daughter Namita Bhattacharya and granddaughter Niharika, in the presence of the former Prime Minister’s son in-law Ranjan, family members and a multitude of his well-wishers, amid chanting of Vedic hymns

And even as his body was consigned to flames, the skies opened up with intermittent showers, as if signalling that the Mother Nature too was mourning the demise of one of India’s most worthy sons.

Earlier, the decorated gun carriage carrying the mortal remains of Vajpayee, who died on Thursday evening, left his home on Krishna Menon Marg around 10 am and reached the BJP headquarters around 11 am. Thereafter, Chief Ministers from BJP-ruled States and a host of party functionaries paid their homage to the former Prime Minister.

Following his demise at All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Thursday evening, Vajpayee’s mortal remains was kept in state at his Krishna Menon Marg residence for the night where several leaders, including Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, laid floral tributes.

Edited By: Admin
Published On: Aug 17, 2018