New Delhi, Aug 17: The mortal remains of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who died at Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) following a prolonged illness on Thursday, will be brought at the Bharatiya Janata Party's headquarters in the national capital for paying tributes. Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral procession will begin at 1:30 pm and he will be laid to rest at Smriti Sthal at 4:00 pm. Catch live and latest news updates on funeral and last rites of Vajpayee here.
On Thursday, a host of political leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, former PM Dr Manmohan Singh, NSA Ajit Doval, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj paid tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his residence. Vajpayee, who had faded from public life for more than a decade following health complications and was admitted to AIIMS with urinary tract infection on June 11, breathed his last at 5:05 pm.
Vajpayee became the Prime Minister first in May 1996 for 13 days and again in March 1998 till 2004. He was the first non-Congress Prime Minister to serve a full five-year term. He oversaw five underground nuclear tests in Pokhran desert in Rajasthan and refused to bend under the international pressure in his attempt to make India a nuclear power. As the prime minister, Vajpayee showed political will to find a permanent solution for Kashmir conflict, initiating a full-scale diplomatic peace process with Pakistan.
However, when Pakistan backstabbed and attempted to capture Kargil, Vajpayee gave free hand to Indian armed forces that pushed them back and recaptured the territory. The victory in Kargil bolstered the image of Vajpayee and he was hailed across the country for his bold and strong leadership. Stay connected with us to get latest updates on Vajpayee's funeral here.