End of an era: Nation mourns demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

End of an era: Nation mourns demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

End of an era: Nation mourns demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

His condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was on life support.

"The Indian Cricket Team and BCCI condoles the sad demise of former India Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee".

Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee speaks during a news conference in the eastern Indian university town of Shantiniketan, northwest of Calcutta, India April 2, 2004. Directed by Yash Chopra, the famous song that starred Shah Rukh Khan was shot in just 2 days.

A poet-politician, Vajpayee was one of the most popular leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. He has always been an admirer of Yahs Chopra's work.

The 10th Prime Minister of India had been suffering from kidney-related ailments and was admitted to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi from June 11.

Even as he pursued a nuclear agreement with Pakistan, Vajpayee remained a defiant defender of India's security policy, an approach which eventually paid off.

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Despite the lingering tensions between the neighbours, Imran Khan, due to take the oath as Pakistan's next prime minister on Saturday, hailed Vajpayee as "a towering figure" in a statement posted on his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party's official Twitter page.

But he later launched a groundbreaking peace process with Islamabad. He never married, but lived with his adopted daughter, her husband and their daughter.

Vajpayee can be credited with putting the India-US relations on course for the strategic partnership that exists today. But, in the summer of that year, the Kargil War broke out between the two countries. Guleria has served as personal physician to Vajpayee for over three decades.

Foreign policy under Vajpayee saw many innovations, particularly his attempts to reset India-Pakistan ties.

Defense, economic and diplomatic ties between Jerusalem and New Delhi have continued to grow in recent years, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi - like Vajpayee a member of the BJP - became the first Indian premier to visit Israel last July. "We join the nation in deeply mourning this great loss". Bilateral agreements signed between his government and Moscow set the stage for annual summits which continue to this day, as does the close relationship with China he cultivated.

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