Thousands Come Out To Pay Their Respects To Atal Bihari Vajpayee One Last Time

His final resting place is between Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri's memorial

The nation bid farewell to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who breathed his last on Thursday evening. The mortal remains of the three-time prime minister have been taken to Smriti Sthal on the Yamuna banks, where the final rites with full state honours were performed around 4.30 pm.

After Vajpayee passed away in AIIMS, Delhi, his body was shifted to his residence and then taken to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters on Friday morning. People came out in thousands to pay their tribute to Vajpayee. As the gun carriage took the casket towards the party’s headquarters, people chanted “Atal Bihari Vajpayee amar rahenge”.

Leaders, across party lines, paid tribute to the BJP stalwart through the day until the final journey to Smriti Sthal. Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior BJP leader LK Advani, and Congress President Rahul Gandhi, among others, paid their last respects to the former prime minister.

Those who arrived to pay respects included foreign dignitaries like the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, Pakistan law minister Ali Zafar, and former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai, among others.

“We are here to share your grief and pay our condolences on the behalf of people of Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan,” Pakistan law minister Ali Zafar told ANI after arriving in Delhi for the funeral.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah walked alongside as the coffin made its way to the final resting ground, The Indian Express reported. The Centre has announced seven days of nationwide mourning, and the national flag will be flown at half-mast for the whole week across the country.

NDTV reported that Vajpayee will be laid to rest at Smriti Sthal, which is a memorial site that is commonly used due to concerns over shrinking land resources in Delhi. The last rites were performed on an elevated platform surrounded by greenery. The resting ground is situated between Jawaharlal Nehru’s memorial ‘Shanti Van’ and Lal Bahadur Shastri’s ‘Vijay Ghat’. The charismatic leader is survived by his adopted daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya.