Ex-Indian PM Vajpayee dies at age 93

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 17, 2018

Vajpayee had been hospitalised in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for more than two months after being admitted for treatment of a kidney infection and chest congestion. He suffered a stroke in 2009 and was also hospitalised that year with a serious respiratory infection.

The 93-year-old leader passed away at AIIMS here following prolonged illness. "I pray for his early recovery and long life", he said in the tweet.

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. Vajpayee, a diabetic, has only one functional kidney. He was a lifelong poet who revered nature but who oversaw India's growth into a swaggering regional economic power.

Vajpayee's government helped ramp up tensions in South Asia by declaring India a nuclear-armed state after successful weapons tests in 1998 that drew sanctions from the west. Vajpayee was the first non Congress prime minister to serve a full five-year term.

He was the moderate leader of an often-strident Hindu nationalist movement. One of the few politicians I always respected for his honesty and devotion to the national cause. Both sides agreed he was that most rare thing in Indian politics: a man untainted by corruption scandals. He also served two terms in the Rajya Sabha, or upper house.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray may leave for New Delhi on Thursday evening to enquire about the health of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is on life support at the AIIMS, sources told PTI.

He was reelected for prime minister-ship in March 1998, where he remained in the office until May 13, 2004.

Kargil war India won the Kargil war in 1999 and Vajpayee was hailed for his successful handling of the situation.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee addressing an election rally at his constitutency. India earned worldwide praise for its caution. He travelled to Pakistan on Delhi-Lahore Bus Service in its inaugural run on February 19, 1999, to attend the Lahore Summit.

"It was Atal Ji's exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century". But critics excoriated him for failing to quickly quell anti-Muslim riots that shook the state of Gujarat in 2002. Did you know that one of his poems brought together stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Yash Chopra, Jagjit Singh and Javed Akhtar?

Vajpayee's public response to the riots reflected his many contradictions. "Despite the best efforts, we have lost him today", AIIMS said in a statement.

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