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From Sachin Tendulkar to Vijender Singh, sports fraternity mourns former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's demise

Sachin Tendulkar mourned the passing away of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying India is at a great loss today.

Written by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: August 16, 2018 21:00 IST ]
Image Source : TWITTER

A file photograph of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Sachin Tendulkar

India's batting legend Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday mourned the passing away of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying India is at a great loss today.

"India is at a great loss today. Shri #AtalBihariVajpayee ji’s contributions to our nation have been innumerable. Thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones," Tendulkar said on Twitter.

Former India opener Virender Sehwag also joined in, sharing a few couplets of a poem written by the Bharat Ratna. "Asaman ko choo gaya, jo asmaan sa vishal tha, dharti mein simat gaya, jo mitti jaisa narm tha. Kaun hai jo Atal reh paya zindagi bhar, Atal banke wo zindagi ko paa gaya. Om Shanti #AtalBihariVajpayee ji," Sehwag tweeted.

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.

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore led India's sporting fraternity in mourning the demise of former PM. 

"#AtalBihariVajpayee ji - A leader par excellence, a daring PM who made Pokhran possible, a highly principled politician & a poet of inspirational grit who was admired across party lines. His demise is an irreparable loss, and marks the end of an era," Rathore wrote on his twitter handle.

Olympic medallist boxer Vijender Singh said, "One of the Greatest PM this Country has ever seen.A visionary, A poet, A statesman, A man who won over million hearts. Man who deserves nothing but respect. Bharat Ratna #AtalBihariVajpayee is no more with us.His contribution for the motherland will inspire generations to come." 

Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand said, "India loses one of its great leaders. Gentle Giant thats a wonderful way to remember him and his work. My deepest condolences . #ripvajpayee." 

The BCCI also expressed grief over the passing away of the iconic leader.

"The Indian Cricket Team and BCCI condoles the sad demise of former India Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Atalji dedicated his life in service of the nation," the Indian Cricket Board tweeted.

Team India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who is currently engaged in India's Test series in England, said the values and ideologies of Vajpayee will be remembered forever.

Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin termed Vajpayee "one of India's finest leaders" and called it a sad week as former India captain and coach Ajit Wadekar also breathed last on Wednesday.

"It's been a sad week, the demise of one of India's finest leaders "Mr. Vajpayee" is heartbreaking," Ashwin said on Twitter.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan also joined in, saying: "My deepest condolences on the passing of our former Prime Minister Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. One of the few politicians I always respected for his honesty and devotion to the national cause. May his soul rest in peace."

Former India batsman VVS Laxman also mourned the death of "India's Most Loved Prime Minister, a great poet and a wonderful statesman". 

Former India spinner and coach Anil Kumble called it "a sad day for the country" as India lost one of its greatest leaders.

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma said, "Saddened to hear the demise of a Great statesman & Glorious leader, Shri Vajpayeeji. He inspired us all with his exemplary conduct... My Heartfelt tribute to the departed soul #AtalBihariVaajpayee." 

Batsman Rohit Sharma wrote, "Not turning out to be a great week for India, as we lost another great leader RIP Shri #AtalBihariVaajpayee.

"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.

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