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Former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal

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Former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna in Delhi after a host of dignitaries from the country and abroad paid homage to the departed statesman.

His adopted daughter Namita Bhattacharya lit the funeral pyre and the poet-politician was given a 21-gun salute. The tricolor wrapped around mortal remains of Vajpayee was handed over to his family.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]The government has announced seven days of state mourning, and the national flag will be flown at half-mast for seven days across the country. A half-day holiday was declared in all offices of the central government, central PSUs and Delhi government. Schools in Delhi remained closed Friday.

The BJP postponed the two-day meeting of its national executive which was to start Saturday. New dates will be decided later. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said: “For the party, there will be no programme or major activity for at least seven days.”

Vajpayee passed away on Thursday after battling a prolonged illness at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was 93. The charismatic leader is survived by his adopted daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya. The former PM’s body was kept overnight at his bungalow on Krishna Menon road, where he spent the last few years away from public life.

From there, it was taken with military honours to the to the headquarters of BJP, the party he had helped form in 1980, where scores of leaders, cutting across party lines, paid tribute to the leader through the day.

People from across the country gathered outside the BJP headquarters and hundreds lined up inside to pay homage to the former prime minister, who wove together pragmatism and a vision for an inclusive India.

Thousands of mourners jostled and some clambered on trees to capture the moment on their phones as former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cortege left the BJP’s headquarters.

A sea of people attended the funeral procession as his mortal remains were taken for cremation to Smriti Sthal located close to the memorials of former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri on the banks of the river Yamuna.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked the entire four km stretch behind the flower-decked gun carriage, along with other top BJP leaders and ministers. “I am speechless, numb,” PM Modi had said, expressing his grief. “It’s like losing a father.”

Former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal

A massive crowd chanted “long live Atal-ji” and showered rose petals on the glass casket carrying the three-time prime minister.

The Delhi Police had made traffic arrangements for the funeral procession, imposing traffic restrictions on several roads.

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia along with Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Ashok Gehlot and Raj Babbar and politicians from various parties attended the funeral. Foreign dignitaries like the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai were also present.

Pakistan Law Minister Ali Zafar, in Delhi to pay condolences to Vajpayee on the behalf of people of Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan, said, “We are here to share your grief and pay our condolences on the behalf of people of Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan.”

The Union Jack was at half-mast at the British High Commission in New Delhi as mark of respect for Vajpayee.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif said that Vajpayee and former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif had launched a sincere peace effort between the two countries.

“In the death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India has lost a leader whose services to regional peace will be remembered for long time. He and Nawaz Sharif launched a sincere peace effort between neighbouring countries in 1999. Wish India builds on his legacy by giving peace a chance,” Shahbaz said in a tweet.

Calling Vajpayee’s death a “personal loss”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it marks the end of an era. He said the BJP patriarch lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades while noting that it was Vajpayee’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century.

“Atal Ji’s passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me. I have countless fond memories of him. He was an inspiration to Karyakartas like me. I will particularly remember his sharp intellect and outstanding wit. It was Atal Ji’s exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century. His futuristic policies across various sectors touched the lives of each and every citizen of India,” Modi tweeted. He said it was due to Vajpayee’s perseverance and struggles that the BJP was built brick by brick.

Former President Pranab Mukherjee, writing to Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita, said: “A democrat to the core, Atalji dominated the Opposition space like a titan and led the government with aplomb. An inheritor and practitioner of the best traditions and qualities of leadership, in his demise the nation has lost a great son. An era that will forever be fondly remembered has passed away.”

Hailing Vajpayee as “a towering figure in our national life” who “stood for democratic values and demonstrated this commitment in all his acts, whether as a parliamentarian, a cabinet minister, or prime minister of India”, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said “he was a spell-binding orator, a leader of great vision, a patriot to the core for whom the national interest was paramount. But above all, he was a man with a very large heart and a real spirit of magnanimity”.

Vajpayee was the first non-Congress leader since India’s independence in 1947 to complete an entire term in office as head of a BJP-led ruling alliance between March 1998 and May 2004. He was admired by friends and rivals alike for his rich oratory, his poetic jibes and his statesmanship.

Vajpayee was awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, in March 2015. During his second term as prime minister, Vajpayee ordered nuclear tests in May 1998 in a strategic masterstroke to blunt Pakistan’s nuclear ambitions. He followed this up with peace overtures to Pakistan, riding on the first direct bus from India to Pakistan in February 1999.

Vajpayee, who ruled the country thrice in the 1990s, had retreated from politics over the last few years because of his health. It was widely reported that the former prime minister had a stroke in 2009 that severely affected his ability to speak and confined him to his home.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Arvind Kejriwal says BJP started Operation Jhaadu to crush AAP

The Delhi chief minister alleged BJP has started Operation Jhaadu so that they do not grow big and become a challenge to them

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Arvind Kejriwal says BJP started Operation Jhaadu to crush AAP

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday alleged BJP has started Operation Jhaadu to crush the Aam Aadmi Party since its popularity among the people is rising too fast. Kejriwal was addressing Aam Aadmi Party workers at the party office in New Delhi where he claimed the AAP’s bank accounts would be frozen after elections and they will be brought on the roads and left without an office.

The Delhi chief minister alleged BJP has started Operation Jhaadu so that they do not grow big and become a challenge to them.  He further added that through Operation Jhaadu, AAP’s big leaders will be arrested; they are being arrested, and in the coming days, Aam Aadmi Party’s bank accounts will be frozen.

Kejriwal pointed out that ED’s lawyer has already given this statement in court that soon after the election, AAP’s bank accounts will be frozen. He said that if they freeze their accounts now, then AAP will get sympathy. As a result after the election, ED will freeze AAP’s bank accounts. He said AAP’s party office will be cleared out, and the party will be brought to the streets.  Kejriwal said these are the 3 plans made by the BJP.

The Delhi chief minister claimed that no gold or money has been recovered from him, and the BJP, by creating false cases has got AAP leaders arrested. Kejriwal recalled that since the time he came to power in 2015, many allegations had been against him by the BJP. He said after the liquor policy scam has happened people are asking them if the scam happened then where is the money. He pointed out that in other places, when raids happen, notes and gold are recovered, but here nothing was found. Kejriwal asked the people that where is all the money? He said BJP had made fake cases and arrested AAP leaders.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

PM Modi says Congress is the mother of corruption, party was involved in coal and 2G scams

PM Modi said, Congress and JMM know nothing about development and their only job is to speak lies, loudly, again and again, and everywhere, their only objective is to do an the X-ray of poor people’s wealth and steal it.

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PM Modi says Congress is the mother of corruption, party was involved in coal and 2G scams

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally in Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur on Sunday (May 19) amid the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections 2024.  While addressing the election rally in Jamshedpur PM Modi said, people’s excitement told him what result will come on June 4 in Jamshedpur.

He recalled the time when he used to work as a BJP party worker for many years and used to ask people at that time they would come at 10 or 11 am to attend an election rally. But today he was witnessing a huge crowd here. The prime minister thanked all of them and said Lok Sabha election decides and strengthens the future of the country.

During a public rally in Jamshedpur, PM Modi said, Congress and JMM know nothing about development and their only job is to speak lies, loudly, again and again, and everywhere, their only objective is to do an the X-ray of poor people’s wealth and steal it. He further accused the Congress and JMM of snatching the reservation of SC and ST and the party leaders of the two parties are continuously abusing Modi every day. He asked if they are not able to think beyond this? He said the whole country has realised their truth.

PM Modi said, Congress and their ally parties, wherever they have governments, he challenged those chief ministers and this is not his political statement. The prime minister said Congress’s Shehzada keeps opposing business industries, businessmen and investments.

 PM Modi asked which businessman will go and invest in those states? What will happen to the youths of those states?  He said all investors who come to him and say that they would not go to these states because of their ideology against them. He said businessmen are verbally abused there and investors are forced to think that since Shehzada has this kind of thoughts, his ally parties would have the same thoughts as well. PM Modi added Congress is the mother of corruption and party was involved in coal and 2G scams as well

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Rahul Gandhi says Kejriwal will vote for Congress and he will vote for AAP

Gandhi said that if the prime minister comes in front of him, he would ask him questions about crony capitalism, unemployment, inflation, and farm issues.

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Rahul Gandhi says Kejriwal will vote for Congress, and he will vote for AAP

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was addressing an election rally on Saturday where he said that Arvind Kejriwal will vote for a Congress candidate and that he will vote for an AAP candidate in Delhi in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections as a mark of strong bond between the two allies.

He further added workers of Congress and of AAP to work together to ensure the victory of their alliance in all 7 Lok Sabha seats in the national capital. In his address, Gandhi also challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a debate concerning the issues of India. The Congress leader said he is ready to debate with PM Modi whenever and wherever he wants, but he was confident that PM Modi would not come.

Notably, former Supreme Court judges Madan B Lokur and Ajit P Shah and senior journalist N Ram had written to Gandhi and PM Modi recently and invited them to a platform for a debate on the key Lok Sabha election issues. Gandhi said that if the prime minister comes in front of him, he would ask him questions about crony capitalism, unemployment, inflation, and farm issues.

The Wayanad MP said in his address that PM Modi has only worked for 22-25 people. He asked small businessmen from Chandni Chowk, what PM Modi had done for them? He said demonetization, GST, and other taxes had impacted small businessmen. He said billions of rupees of Adani and Ambani had been waived off. Gandhi said BJP is privatising railways and other PSUs as well.

The former Congress president questioned the prime minister about introducing the now-scrapped electoral bond scheme and further accused him of extorting money with the help of central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Gandhi reffered to Delhi as the Brotherhood Capital and said that if people work together with love, there is progress.

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