Vajpayee’s last journey to Smriti Sthal: Top developments

Posted on by KNBT

* Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s funeral procession leaves for Smriti Sthal to conduct his last rites amidst thousands of supporters attending the procession including several political leaders, celebrities from various fields from across Indian states.

* Thousands of mourners jostled and some clambered on trees to capture the moment on their phones as former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cortege left the BJP’s headquarters for Rashtriya Smriti Sthal for the last rites of the poet-politician.

* At BJP headquarter,Vajpayee’s body, draped in the tricolour, was placed on a platform decorated in white flowers. Hundreds of people filed past the body in silence, with a large portrait of a smiling Vajpayee — a BJP flag on either side — in the backdrop.

*A four-member delegation from Pakistan will be attending the last rites of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as reported by Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal. The delegation will return the same day after attending the funeral.

* Leaders of several other neighboring countries travelled to New Delhi to pay their homage. Among them were Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India, Sri Lanka acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella and King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck among others.

*The Government of Mauritius announced that both Indian and Mauritian flag will fly half-mast on government buildings as a mark of respect following the demise of Vajpayee. The British High Commission in New Delhi also lowered its flag at half mast to commemorate Vajpayee’s death.

*Praising Vajpayee’s openness and his skills as an orator and poet, celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Rajinikanth, Priyanka Chopra, and Paresh Rawal, Anupam Kher, Vivek Oberoi, Dhanush, Boman Irani, Randeep Hooda, Annu Kapoor paid their tributes to Vajpayee.

* Shah Rukh Khan took in his tweet wrote, My father used to take me for every speech that Vajpayee made in Delhi when I was growing up. Years on I had the opportunity to meet him and spend lots of time discussing poetry, films, politics and our ailing knees. I also had the privilege of enacting one of his poems for the screen. He was fondly addressed as ?Baapji? at home. Today the country has lost a Father Figure and a great leader,? he wrote.

* Opposition leaders, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and chief ministers of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi condoled the death of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

* Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge said Vajpayee was “Ajatshatru” who never made any enemies. “Though our ideologies were different, we used to go to listen to his speeches to know what he had to say,” said Kharge.

* TDP workers paid tributes to Atal Bihari Vajpayee by making a sand sculpture on the RK beach in Visakhapatnam.

* Several states like Tripura, Manipur, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh observed state holidays mourning the death of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

*Social activist Swami Agnivesh was on Friday roughed up outside the BJP headquarters here when he came to pay his respects to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose body was lying in state for people to pay homage.

(With inputs from agencies)

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