Leaders pay tributes to Vajpayee at BJP party office

Armed forces personnel carrying the casket to the BJP part office.

New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee embarked on his last journey through the streets of Delhi today on a flower-bedecked gun-carriage.

The mortal remains of the BJP leader who was instrumental in strengthening the party and the country was taken in a procession from the party’s headquarters to the funeral site at Rashtriya Smriti Samadhi near the memorials of former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri.

The last rites were set to be performed at 4 pm today.

A huge crowd chanting ‘Atal Bihari Amar Rahe’ (Long live Atal Bihari) gathered during the procession which was led by a tri-services march.

Many roads were blocked and traffic restrictions put out ahead of the procession. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several Union ministers and top BJP leaders, including the party president Amit Shah, were present as Vajpayee’s body, in a glass casket draped in the national flag, was carried into the BJP headquarters this morning.

Veteran BJP leader L K Advani and his daughter Pratibha Advani with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his family paid their homage to Vajpayee at the BJP headquarters.

Tamilnadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army Chief Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba paid their last respects.

The casket carrying Vajpayee’s mortal remains was kept overnight at his bungalow on Krishna Menon Marg where the three-time Prime Minister spent the last few years away from public life.

The 93-year-old BJP patriarch died on Thursday evening at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where he had been admitted to in June after his health condition deteriorated.

It was widely reported that the former Prime Minister had a stroke in 2009 that severely affected his ability to speak and he was confined him to his home. Vajpayee, who ruled the country thrice from the 1990s, had retreated from politics over the last few years because of his health condition.

TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit, CM Palaniswami, Deputy CM Panneerselvam and Deputy Lok Sabha Speaker Thambidurai pay their homage.


Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, Leader of the Opposition and DMK working president M K Stalin and leaders of various parties paid homage to the mortal remains of Vajpayee at his residence in New Delhi.

Soon after hearing about his demise, Palaniswami and Panneerselvam air-dashed to the national capital and paid their last respects. They were accompanied by Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, ministers and other leaders.

DMK working president M K Stalin lays a wreath.

Stalin reached New Delhi to pay his last respects. DMK Rajya Sabha members Kanimozhi and Trichy N Siva and former Union ministers Dayanidhi Maran and A Raja also placed wreaths on the body of Vajpayee.

BJP Tamilnadu president Tamilisai Soundararajan and MDMK general secretary Vaiko also paid their last respects to the mortal remains of Vajpayee.


Vajpayee could never visit the new, sprawling BJP headquarters, symbolic of the rise of the party he nurtured for decades. His mortal remains were kept there today, making it his first and last visit to the office.


Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, Nepal’s Foreign Affairs Minister P K Gyawal, Sri Lanka Aacting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Pakistan Law Minister Ali Zafar were among those who arrived in the capital city and paid their tributes to the former Prime Minister.

File photo of Imran Khan.


Pakistan Prime Minister-designate Imran Khan offered his condolences on the demise of Vajpayee, saying the best way to honour the ‘towering leader’ was by establishing peace between India and Pakistan.