In tribute to Vajpayee, PM Modi walks the extra mile

In tribute to Vajpayee, PM Modi walks the extra mile

Zafar had departed for India earlier today and represented the country at the funeral in New Delhi today. Two big LED screens were placed outside the office.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 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. The air was solemn as Vajpayee's body, draped in the tricolour, was placed on a platform draped in white flowers.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck arrived in Delhi to pay tribute to the former PM.

Mr. Karzai sat through the funeral alongside Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella and met a cross section of dignitaries in attendance.

Opposition leaders like CPI's D Raja and CPI (M)'s Sitaram Yechury were among those who visited the BJP headquarters to pay their respects.

Foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya lit the pyre as cries of "Atal Bihari Amar Rahe" reverberated.

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"India grieves the demise of our beloved Atal Ji". Mortal remains of the senior BJP leader has been brought to the party headquarters.

Vajpayee, 93, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here on Thursday evening after a prolonged illness. It lasted for 13 days and collapsed after losing a vote of no-confidence.

According to Indian media, the final procession of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will take place on Friday in the national capital, Delhi at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal at 4pm. Finally, the NDA with Vajpayee as PM returned to power in 1999 and was voted out in 2004.

The flag will fly at half mast and Vajpayee will be accorded a state funeral, the government has also decided.

Meanwhile, the Tripura government has declared a holiday on Friday as a mark to the late BJP boss.

In keeping with the military honours, three service chiefs placed wreaths on the body of Vajpayee before leaders paid their floral tributes.

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