Pay your tributes to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee here


Last night, the hospital said Vajpayee's condition had worsened and he was on life-support systems. Despite the best efforts, we have lost him today.

"It was Atal Ji's exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century. Guleria had served as personal physician to Vajpayee for over three decades. But his defiant and thought provoking poetry will live on forever in the hearts and minds of millions of his admirers.

He was elected prime minister three times from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1996, 1998-99 and from 1999 to 2004.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where Mr Vajpayee had been hospitalised for more than two months with a kidney infection and chest congestion, announced his death.

Meanwhile, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's mortal remains will be taken to BJP headquarters and at 1 pm his last journey will begin.

Pokhran test During his second term as Prime Minister, Vajpayee ordered nuclear tests in May 1998, barely a month after the government came into power.

Vajpayee was conferred the nation's highest civilian honour - Bharat Ratna - by the President of India in 2014. He has only one functional kidney and suffered a stroke in 2009 which impaired his speech. During his youth he was briefly a member of the right wing Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and was arrested along with his brother in 1942 for protesting against British rule.

Shah said the "golden chapter of development got started" during Vajpayee's term as Prime Minister.

Then, a few years later, it was Mr Vajpayee who made the first moves toward peace.

The evocative and charming poet in Vajpayee even inspired Bollywood.

Sharif had believed relations with India were improving. "The birth of a girl in this country is still a curse".

A onetime journalist, Mr Vajpayee was in many ways a political contradiction.

Former president Pranab Mukherjee paying his tributes to Atal Bihari Vajpayee had described him as a reasoned critique in the opposition, who dominated the space like a titan, and a seeker of consensus as prime minister. He addressed the United Nations General Assembly in 2001 and a joint session of the US Congress in 2000.

"He led his party to its first victory in national elections and established the credentials of the BJP to run the central government".