Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Iron Man of Modern India

Former PM Vajpayee put on life support as health worsens

Former PM Vajpayee put on life support as health worsens

"It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 05:05pm on 16.08.2018", AIIMSsaid in a statement on Thursday. Unfortunately, his condition has worsened over the past 24 hours.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a stream of political leaders cutting across party lines and Union ministers visited the hospital on Thursday.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee speaks during a news conference in the eastern Indian university town of Shantiniketan, northwest of Calcutta April 2, 2004. Directed by Yash Chopra, the famous song that starred Shah Rukh Khan was shot in just 2 days.

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He was reelected for prime minister-ship in March 1998, where he remained in the office until May 13, 2004. Once Ram Vilas Paswan took a jibe at a rising BJP by saying he too was "Ram"; Mr. Vajpayee said: "Aap Ram to hain, par vilasi Ram hain" (You are Ram, but a Ram given to pleasure).

"Atal-ji may have gone, but his ideas, views, simplicity will always inspire us Indians", he said.

Mr Vajpayee was one of the most popular leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In his passing away, India has lost a great son and an era has come to an end. In the 1990s, as a rising BJP sought a face acceptable to allies, Mr. Vajpayee returned as the party's prime leader, delivering one unforgettable speech in Parliament after another. He had been admitted to the AIIMS, Delhi on June 11 with multiple infections and chest congestion. Guleria has served as personal physician to Vajpayee for over three decades.

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Vajpayee never married but had a longtime companion who died in 2014 and whose daughter he adopted.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, 93, was the only parliamentarian who got elected from four different states - Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi - and was Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha a record 10 times and to the Rajya Sabha twice.

Vajpayee was returned to the premiership in 1999 after his BJP-led coalition secured a comfortable majority in the wake of a two-month long war with Pakistan over control of Kashmir. His birthday - December 25 - is celebrated as Good Governance Day.

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