New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s mortal remains were consigned to flames amid chanting of hymns at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal on the banks of river Yamuna in the capital on Friday (17 August 2018).
The last rites were performed by Vajpayee’s adopted daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya. Also present were her daughter Niharika and members of the bereaved family.
The dignitaries present at the State funeral included President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Sushma Swaraj, Harsh Vardhan, several chief ministers, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, veteran BJP leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Among the foreign dignitaries were Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgel Wangchuk, Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, and former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, along with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, walked with the cortege to Smriti Sthal on a sweltering hot and humid August afternoon. There was a sea of mourners who had filled the entire route covered with flowers. The last journey started from the BJP headquarters. The mourners chanted “Atal Ji Amar Rahen” and Jab Tak Suraj Chand Rahega, Atalji ka naam rahega”.
It was Atal Ji’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century. His futuristic policies across various sectors touched the lives of each and every citizen of India.
It was due to the perseverance and struggles of Atal Ji that the BJP was built brick by brick. He travelled across the length and breadth of India to spread the BJP’s message, which led to the BJP becoming a strong force in our national polity and in several states. – Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
Atal was Renaissance Man of Indian Politics– Ram Nath Kovind, President of India