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'End of an era, personal loss': PM Narendra Modi mourns death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Prime Minister Narendra Modi credited Atal Bihari Vajpayee for laying the foundation stone for India in the 21st century and said he was an inspiration to him.

Written by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: August 16, 2018 18:20 IST ]

'End of an era, personal loss': PM Narendra Modi mourns death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday mourned the death of former PM and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee, terming it as a "personal loss" and 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," Modi wrote on Twitter.

Modi credited Vajpayee for laying the foundation stone for India in the 21st century and said he was an inspiration to him.

"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.

"Atal Ji's passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me. I have countless fond memories with him. He was an inspiration to Karyakartas like me. I will particularly remember his sharp intellect and outstanding wit.

The prime minister also said that Vajpayee was instrumental in building the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"It was due to the perseverance and struggles of Atal Ji that the BJP was built brick by brick. He travelled across the length and breadth of India to spread the BJP's message, which led to the BJP becoming a strong force in our national polity and in several states," he said.

Vajpayee, the first non-Congress prime minister to complete a full term in office, died on Thursday after a prolonged illness, AIIMS authorities said. He was 93.

"It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 5.05 p.m. on 16.08.2018," an AIIMS press statement said.

The statement said Vajpayee was admitted on June 11 and was stable in the last nine weeks. "Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support system. Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today."

Vajpayee, a diabetic patient, was undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). His condition worsened further on Wednesday evening with leaders from across the political spectrum thronging the hospital and enquiring about his health.

The former Prime Minister, whose birthday on December 25 is celebrated as Good Governance Day, was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 2014 at his home.

He was Prime Minister for 13 days in mid-1996 when he was forced to resign ahead of the confidence vote for which he did not have the numbers.

Vajpayee again became the Prime Minister in March 1998 but his government fell 13 months later on the floor of the Lok Sabha losing by one vote in the confidence motion after AIADMK headed by the late J Jayalalithaa withdrew support to the BJP.

The BJP government headed by Vajpayee returned to power in 1999 and completed its full term till 2014.

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