Political leaders pay tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a ‘true Indian statesman’

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the first non-Congress prime minister to serve a full term in power, died on Thursday at the AIIMS Delhi where he had been undergoing treatment for a kidney ailment since June.

india Updated: Aug 16, 2018 19:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies,Atal Bihari Vajpayee dead,Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his residence in New Delhi. Vajpayee, who pursued both nuclear weapons and peace talks with Pakistan, died on Thursday, at age 93.(AP File Photo)

Leaders from all political spectrums on Thursday condoled the death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and paid their tributes to the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader.

Vajpayee, the first non-Congress leader to serve a full term in power, died on Thursday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences where he had been undergoing treatment for a kidney ailment since June. He was 93.

Here how leaders mourned his passing:

A true Indian statesman: President Ramnath Kovind

“Extremely sad to hear of the passing of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, our former Prime Minister and a true Indian statesman. His leadership, foresight, maturity and eloquence put him in a league of his own. Atalji, the Gentle Giant, will be missed by one and all,” President Kovind said.

‘Tallest leader in post-independent India : Vice-president Venkaiah Naidu

“I never expected the end will come so soon. He was a true Indian. He never hesitated to speak from his heart. He was the tallest leader in post-independent India. Vajpayee ji is the Ajatshatru of modern times because he always maintained dignity and decorum,” Naidu said.

End of an era: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

“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,” Modi said in a series of tweets.

“It was Atal Ji’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century. His futuristic policies across various sectors touched the lives of each and every citizen of India,” he said.

The Prime Minister said Vajpayee’s “perseverance and struggles” helped in forming the saffron party “brick by brick.”

Watch: Remembering Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Poet, politician and statesman

I will miss Atalji immensely: LK Advani

“I am at a loss of words to express my deep grief and sadness today as we all mourn the passing away of one of India’s tallest statesmen, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. To me, Atalji was more than a senior colleague- in fact, he was my closest friend for over 65 years,” Advani said.

I cherish the memories of my long association with him, right from our days as Pracharaks of the RSS, to the inception of Bharatiya Jana Singh, the struggle of the dark months during the Emergency leading to the formation of Janata Party and later the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980.

Atalji was a true ‘Ajatshatru’: Union home minister Rajnath Singh

“Pained beyond words at the demise of Shri Atalji. He had cherished the idea of a developed and powerful India in which all persons lived together in unity, peace and harmony.”

“Atalji was a true ‘Ajatshatru’ who had many friends across the political spectrum. He believed in political consensus and his beliefs had consequential effect on Indian politics.”

Loved and respected by millions: Rahul Gandhi

“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,” Gandhi tweeted.

A great PM: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh

“I have learnt with profound sorrow about the sad demise of Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee. An excellent orator, an impressive poet, an exceptional public servant, an outstanding parliamentarian and great PM,” Singh said.

‘Reasoned critique, seeker of consensus’: Former president Pranab Mukherjee

“Deeply saddened at the passing away of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A reasoned critique in opposition and a seeker of consensus as PM, Atal Ji was a democrat to the core. In his passing away, India has lost a great son and an era has come to an end. My deepest condolences,” Mukherjee said on Twitter.

First Published: Aug 16, 2018 19:22 IST