NEW DELHI — Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died on Thursday evening aged 93 years old. He was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for the past nine weeks and his condition worsened on Wednesday.
In a statement announcing his death, AIIMS said that he died at 5:05 pm on Thursday.
The statement said, "Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today."
Reacting to the news Prime Minister Narendra Modi said:
Congress President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and said:
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called it a great loss for India:
Rajnath Singh said India had lost a stalwart:
Political leaders remembered Vajpayee and expressed grief, cutting across party lines:
The Times of India reported that Vajpayee had a kidney tract infection, chest congestion and other age-related ailments and had been put on life support because of his critical condition.
Reports say that the leader has only one functional kidney because of diabetes.
Several leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, have visited Vajpayee in the hospital.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to arrive in Delhi on Thursday afternoon to visit the former prime minister, reported News18.
Vajpayee was admitted to the hospital on 11 June.
Vajpayee's first stint as prime minister was in 1996, for 13 days. He then served as prime minister when BJP came to power again in 1998. He held the position till 2004, becoming the first leader outside of the Congress to complete a full term as prime minister.
India conducted five nuclear tests in Pokhran in 1998 and fought the Kargil War with Pakistan under Vajpayee's leadership, .
Vajpayee also served as the Minister of External Affairs in the Morarji Desai government elected in 1977, right after the emergency.
Born on 25 December, 1924 in Gwalior, Vajpayee's first brush with politics was during the Quit India Movement in 1942.