Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Former Indian prime minister dies after illness aged 93

Former PM Vajpayee's health deteriorates severely PM Modi Piyush Goyal and other politicians visit AIIMS to check on his health

He was suffering from urinary tract infection and chest congestion.

"It was Atal Ji's exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century". NDTV delivers reliable information across all platforms: TV, Internet and Mobile. Vajpayee was being treated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi, where he was admitted nine weeks ago.

Earlier in the evening, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani had visited the hospital to check on Vajpayee. It was widely reported that he suffered a stroke in 2009, which largely confined him to his New Delhi residence.

Meanwhile, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's photo with late director Yash Chopra is doing round the corners.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also mourned the death of Vajpayee and called him "the tallest leader in India post-independence".

"A leader par excellence, a daring PM who made Pokhran possible, a highly principled politician & a poet of inspirational grit who was admired across party lines.His demise is an irreparable loss, and marks the end of an era", tweeted Rathore.

According to the party's statement on Thursday, the prime minister-in-waiting said there could be political differences between the two countries, however, the desire to establish peace exists on both sides of the border.

While Advani is seen as the architect of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, sharpening BJP's attack on "pseudosecularism", Vajpayee was often a counterfoil, presenting a more moderate face with a lesser emphasis on the Ayodhya movement.

"Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was loved and respected by millions". He was elected to the Lok Sabha 10 times though he also lost a few elections.

In the days after the pogrom, Vajpayee said he could not understand how Hindus could burn women and children alive, sadly asking a group of Muslim survivors: "Have we lost our way so much that we cease to be humans?" As his health failed, Vajpayee stayed out of the limelight even when the BJP returned to power a decade later and Narendra Modi became prime minister. Vajpayee, a bachelor, is survived by his adopted daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya. "Bharat Ratna #AtalBihariVajpayee is no more with us.His contribution for the motherland will inspire generations to come".

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