A pall of gloom descended on the nation as former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee breathed his last on Thursday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. He was 93.
He was admitted to AIIMS in June this year due to his deteriorating health.
Due to his ill health, the former PM had remained inactive in public life for more than a decade, often restricted to his residence.
“It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former prime minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 5.05 pm on 16.08.2018. Shri Vajpayee was admitted in AIIMS on 11.06.2018 and was stable in the last 9 weeks under the care of a team of AIIMS doctors. Unfortunately his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today. We join the Nation in deeply mourning this great loss,’ said a medical bulletin released by AIIMS.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders across political spectrum visited him in the hospital during his last days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the BJP stalwart’s demise as the “end of an era”.
India grieves the demise of our beloved Atal Ji.
His passing away marks the end of an era. He lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades. My thoughts are with his family, BJP Karyakartas and millions of admirers in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 16, 2018
Congress President Rahul Gandhi also mourned the loss of one of the stalwarts in Indian politics. He tweeted
Today India lost a great son. Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, was loved and respected by millions. My condolences to his family & all his admirers. We will miss him. #AtalBihariVajpayee
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 16, 2018
Vajpayee’s mortal remains will be kept at BJP headquarters in New Delhi for last tributes. Vajpayee, a diabetic patient, was undergoing treatment at AIIMS since June 11. He was hospitalised for what doctors had described as a routine check-up. The 1924-born leader was under the supervision of Dr Randeep Guleria, a pulmonologist and currently the Director of AIIMS. Guleria served as personal physician to Vajpayee for over three decades.