Former Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in critical condition

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

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

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Thursday offered condolence at the demise of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said the best way to honour the "towering leader" is by establishing peace between India and Pakistan.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to travel to the capital later on Thursday to pay a visit to the former prime minister at AIIMS.

The statement said Vajpayee was a renowned statesman who contributed to bringing a change in India-Pakistan relations and remained a key supporter of Saarc and regional cooperation for development.

Reports suggest that the rumours started doing rounds while Home Minister Rajnath Singh was talking to media after coming out of AIIMS where Atal Bihari Vajpayee is being treated.

After Modi, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi also paid a visit.

India lost its 'anmol ratna': PM Modi on Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death
The veteran politician had been largely out of political life since 2009 when he suffered a major stroke. Aarti Vij adds. "We pray to the God to make him healthy soon and bless him with a long life", he said.

Earlier in the evening, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani had visited the hospital to check on Vajpayee. He was taken to the hospital with chest congestion, kidney infection, urinary tract infection and other associated conditions. In 2009, he had suffered a stroke, which weakened his cognitive abilities. Subsequently, he developed dementia. For Jammu and Kashmir, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said -insaniyat (humanity), Kashmiriyat (eclectic Kashmiri culture), jamhooriyat (democracy).

"I cherish the memories of my long association with him, right from our days as pracharaks of the RSS, to the inception of Bharatiya Jana Singh, the struggle of the dark months during the Emergency leading to the formation of Janata Party and later the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980", he said.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as Prime Minister of India for three terms that began in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

"Atalji will be remembered as the pioneer of the first ever stable non-Congress coalition government at the Centre and I had the privilege of working as his deputy for six years".

As a mark of respect to the departed soul, the Central government offices will be closed for half day on Friday afternoon in Delhi and across the country, along with the Central Public Sector Undertakings.

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