India Inc pays rich tribute to 'reformer' Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Hugh Fox
August 17, 2018

Vajpayee's death was announced by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital where he was admitted June 11 with a variety of ailments.

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In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said Vajpayee was a renowned statesman who contributed to bringing a change in India-Pakistan relations in addition to being a noted votary of greater regional cooperation.

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee was one of the founding members of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which now governs India.

A poet-politician, Vajpayee was one of the most popular leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

An excellent orator, a mass leader, a fire power and a sensitive human being, Vajpayee was one of India's tallest leaders and was the first to address United Nations in Hindi, he said. He had suffered a stroke in 2009 that weakened his cognitive abilities. Leaders of the BJP were gathering at his home in New Delhi to pay their respects.

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"A great economic reformer, as a Prime Minister he was always guided by a strong conviction that liberalisation would help us realize our economic potential and ultimately open the doors to becoming a globally competitive, strong and resilient economy", Bharti Enterprises Founder and Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said.

Vajpayee was born on December 25, 1924 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to a schoolteacher, Krishna Bihari Vajpayee, and Krishna Devi.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and politicians from various parties attended the funeral. "My condolences to his family and millions of his admirers around the world". Also, Vajpayee was aware of the limits of being a nuclear power and did not want to open another front against Pakistan as it would have led to "major problems", according to Shakti Sinha, who was Vajpayee's private secretary during his two stints as PM, working with him from 1996 to November 1999. The body would be taken to the BJP headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg at around 9 am and the funeral procession would leave the party office at 1 pm.

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