Former Indian prime minister Vajpayee passes away at 93

Vajpayee's condition worsens, put on life-support system: AIIMS..

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who won the hearts of many across the political spectrum, had praised both Sonia Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, irrespective of political differences.

A Hindu nationalist from the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vajpayee had been hospitalised since June with a kidney infection and chest congestion.

He retired from politics in 2005 and suffered a stroke in 2009.

On Thursday morning, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah and veteran leader and Vajpayee's friend LK Advani paid a visit to the AIIMS to enquire about the former PM's health.

He was the prime minister who ordered nuclear tests in 1998, stoking fears of atomic war between India and Pakistan.

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He first became the prime minister of India for only 16 days - May 16-31, 1996 - and was re-elected PM in March 1998, where he remained in office until May 13, 2004.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb travelled to Delhi on Thursday evening to pay their last respects to the BJP leader.

The final restoration of ties and India's ultimate goal of being recognized a nuclear power was still few years away, but the seeds of if were sown during that visit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his sorrow.

The former Prime Minister praised the then Leader of Opposition in 2003, for honouring the rites of consensus on foreign policy and observing the rules of fair play.

Vajpayee died at the AIIMS hospital in New Delhi on Thursday at the age of 93, following a prolonged illness.

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Sharif had believed relations with India were improving.

According to Indian media, the final procession of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will take place on Friday in the national capital, Delhi at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal at 4pm. He further said that Indians will reflect on Vajpayee's many contributions that led to the country's rise as a global and economic power.

"It was Vajpayee's exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century". In a statement issued on Thursday, the American Embassy said that the USA grieved with India on the loss of the former Prime Minister.

Besides, there will be no any celebration at any government establishments of the state for the next seven days.

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