Atal Bihari Vajpayee, three-time Prime Minister of India and one of the country’s most respected politicians, has died. The announcement was made by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences or AIIMS, where the 93-year-old was being treated for nine weeks.
In a medical bulletin, the hospital said the Bharat Ratna breathed his last at 5.05pm on Thursday. “Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts, we lost him today,” AIIMS said in a press release.
A large crowd of mediapersons and others has gathered outside AIIMS, affecting movement of traffic on the road. Traffic Policemen have been deployed to manage the crowd and traffic outside the hospital. The roads leading to Krishna Menon Marg have been blocked. Roads leading to Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s home have also been sealed.
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.
The first prime minister from a non-Congress party to complete a full term in office, Vajpayee began shakily — his first stint as prime minister in 1996 lasted only 13 days when his unlikely coalition government failed to get support from other parties. The BJP-led coalition government came back to power in 1998, and this time Vajpayee stayed in office for 13 months before losing a no-confidence motion by one vote.
Vajpayee was admitted to AIIMS following respiratory and kidney problems around 11.30 AM on 11 June. He was diagnosed with urinary tract infection, low urine output and chest congestion. Vajpayee’s health was a cause of concern for the saffron party. He had undergone a knee replacement surgery at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai in 2001 and had suffered a stroke in 2009 that had impaired his speech. He was also suffering from diabetes and dementia. He had gradually disappeared from public life after movement became limited. Vajpayee was born on December 25, 1924 in Gwalior.