Foster daughter Namita Bhattacharya lights the pyre. India’s former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is consigned to flames amid a 21-gun salute and cheers of Atal Bihariji ki jai.
Many thousands people from all walks of life today joined the funeral procession of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi walking behind the cortege. BJP chief Amit Shah, several union ministers and party leaders also walked sombrely behind the cortege as it made its way to the Rashtriya Smirti Sthal where the last rites would be performed. A huge crowd of people showered petals at the funeral procession and jostled to get a glimpse of the former prime minister.
Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj escorts the King of Bhutan Jigme Wangchuck and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali to the Smriti Sthal. All SAARC leaders at the funeral.
Union Jack flies at half-mast at the British High Commission in New Delhi as a mark of respect to Vajpayee
Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai arrives in Delhi for Vajpayee’s funeral.
Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali were among the foreign dignitaries who arrived in Delhi to pay their last respects to the former prime minister. Sri Lanka’s Acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Pakistan’s acting information minister Syed Zafar Ali and a senior minister from Afghanistan are also expected to arrive later in the day, official sources said.
US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster has expressed condolence over the demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In a tweet, he said the US grieves with India on the loss of former Prime Minister . He said, Vajpayee will be remembered for his immense contribution to bolstering US-India relations and for recognizing US as natural allies. He said, he extends deepest condolences to the people of India.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock at the demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
In a condolence message, She said, Vajpayee was highly respected in Bangladesh as a great friend.
She added that his tireless work for the welfare of the people of India will inspire future generation of the leaders.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Rahul Gandhi arrive at Smriti Sthal for the funeral. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, pay last tribute to Vajpayee.
After the cortege reached Smriti Sthal, Vajpayee’s body was been placed on the elevated platform. Wreaths from the tri-services being placed on the body. He was accorded a state funeral.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba & Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, pay last tributes to the former PM.
Vice president Venkaiah Naidu lays a wreath on the body. Amit Shah seated next to PM Modi and LK Advani. Venkaiah Naidu takes the empty seat next to Dr Manmohan Singh who is seated next to Rahul Gandhi.
President Kovind pays his respects.