The demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was mourned by top leaders of the country, foreign dignitaries and by the common people. The nation on Friday bid an emotional farewell to the former prime minister. Vajpayee had acceptability across a diverse ideological spectrum and was one of the most-loved leaders.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's funeral saw the presence of chief ministers, opposition leaders, Navy and Air Force, chiefs of Army, governors and other dignitaries. He was cremated at the heart of the national capital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, BJP President Amit Shah, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, veteran politician L K Advani, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Army chief General Bipin Rawat, Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba laid wreaths.
Others who attended the former prime minister’s funeral included Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union ministers Harsh Vardhan, Ram Vilas Paswan, Shripad Naik and Piyush Goval.
Chief Ministers of several states, including Nitish Kumar, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Yogi Adityanath and Vijay Rupani also attended the funeral.
Last respects to the former prime minister were also paid by foreign dignitaries, such as Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Afghan politician Hamid Karzai and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali.
Other political leaders at the funeral were Congress president Rahul Gandhi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi, SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal and Congress leader Raj Babbar.
Foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya lit the pyre as cries of "Atal Bihari Amar Rahe" reverberated through the cremation site.
The tall leader was paid last respects by scores of people and was cremated with full state honours.
Vajpayee, 93, died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Thursday after prolonged illness. His body was taken to his official residence after his demise.
During the procession, people chanted slogans like "Atal Bihari Amar Rahe" as Vajpayee's cortege made its way from the BJP headquarters to the cremation ground.
The country bid farewell to its political icon amid a light drizzle.