Update at 8:32 PM: Actor Anupam Kher pays homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Update at 7:55 PM: MoS Youth Affairs & Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore extended his condolences.
Update at 7: 50 PM: Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju lauded the former PM by repeating the latter's words who said "The greatness of a man is measured by the way he treats the little man"
Update at 7: 45 PM: Atal Bihari Vajpayee's immediate successor as Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh issued an official release which read:
I have learnt with profound sorrow about the sad demise of Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. An excellent orator, an impressive poet, an exceptional Public Servant, an outstanding Parliamentarian and a great Prime Minister, Shri Vajpayee ji stood among the tallest leaders of modern India, who spent his whole life serving our great country. His services to our nation will be remembered for a long time to come.
Update at 7:40 PM: Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar extended his condolences
Update at 7:38 PM: National Spokesperson of Congress Party Abhishek Singhvi extended his condolences
Update at 7:30 PM: Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar expressed his condolences stating that 'we have lost a great soul, an eloquent poet, orator par excellence, an excellent human being and one of the greatest Parliamentarians of India'
Update at 7:25 PM: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram paid tribute to the former Prime Minister saying that 'Vajpayee-ji was a man of great wisdom, tolerance and compassion'
Update at 7:20 PM: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan lauded the former Prime Minister by stating that he 'thrusted India into the nuclear club'
Update at 7:20 PM: Union Minister for Women and Child Maneka Gandhi extended her condolences
Update at 7:15 PM: Minister of Finance Piyush Goyal said that he takes his inspiration from Atal Bihari Vajpayee who 'dedicated his entire life for the service of the nation'
Update at 7:15 PM: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in his tweet said that a shadow of fatherhood has been taken away from all of us
Update at 7:10 PM: Maharashtra Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao in his personal statement said:
Atal Behari Vajpayee was one of the most towering political geniuses to have dominated the political space in India after Independence. He was a consummate Parliamentarian, an astute statesman, an orator par excellence and a warm-hearted person.
Update at 7:02 PM: Union Minister Arun Jaitley calls extended his condolences as he called the former PM one of the 'tallest leaders of India'
Update at 7:00 PM: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) extended its condolences.
Update at 6: 59 PM: Union Cabinet Minister Ananthkumar said that 'Babjee' strode the political domain like a 'polestar icon and guiding star forever'
Update at 6: 55 PM: Vice President of India Vekaiah Naidu issues a personal message which read:
Sad to know that Shri Atalji is no more. I visited him today morning but didn't imagine that the end will come so soon. He is, undoubtedly, one of the tallest leaders in post- independence India.
His contribution to strengthen democracy and good governance has been stupendous. He successfully ran a coalition of 23 parties with his rare persuasive charm and competence.
He will be remembered for ushering in the connectivity revolution in the country. 'Bharat Ratna' Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee's qualities of Vyakthitva(personality), Vakthruthva(oratory), Karthruthva(devotion to duty), Mithrutva(friendliness) all combined in his remarkable 'Nethrutva' will be remembered for a long time to come.
Update at 6: 50 PM: Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav extended his condolences calling the former PM as a 'stalwart of Indian politics'
Update at 6: 45 PM: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in his tweet stated that the demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was 'an end to the great era of politics in India'
Update at 6: 40 PM: Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav in his tweet termed the demise of the former PM as the 'end of a legend's life'
Update at 6:35 PM: Dr. G Parameshwara, the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka extended his condolences calling Vajpayee "one of the most respected and pragmatic leaders of our times"
Update at 6:32 PM: Union Minister Birender Singh extended his condolences, saying that the country has suffered a loss that can't be expressed in words.
Update at 6:30 PM: In an emotional post, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah thanked 'Vajpayee Sahib' for reposing his trust in him. He harkened back to times they had spent travelling together, and also conveyed his condolences to the former Prime Minister's family
Update at 6:30 PM: Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra extended his condolences
Update at 6:17 PM: BJP MP Udit Raj extended his condolences
Update at 6:17 PM: Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu was effusive in his praise for the "lovable" former Prime Minister, calling Vajpayee a "shining star in India's political firmament."
Update at 6:15 PM: MoS for External Affairs Vijay Kumar Singh extended his condolences
Update at 6:11 PM: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje extended her condolences. Raje had visited AIIMS on Thursday during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's final hours.
Update at 6:10 PM: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi issued a tribute to the 'timeless' former PM, saying "Atal Ji 'Atal The, Atal Hain aur Atal Rahenge'"
Update at 6:07 PM: Senior BJP leader LK Advani, who had been Vajpayee's best friend and fellow pillar in the rise of the BJP, and also his Deputy when Vajpayee was Prime Minister issued a statement, referring to Vajpayee as his senior and opining that he would be remembered as the "pioneer of the first ever stable non-Congress coalition government at the Centre "
I am at a loss of words to express my deep grief and sadness today as we all mourn the passing away of one of India’s tallest statesmen, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. To me, Atalji was more than a senior colleague- in fact he was my closest friend for over 65 years.
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.
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 my senior, he always encouraged and guided me in every possible manner.
His captivating leadership qualities, mesmerising oratory, soaring patriotism and above all, his sterling humane qualities like compassion, humility and his remarkable ability to win over adversories despite ideological differences have all had a profound effect on me in all my years in public life.
I will miss Atalji immensely…
Update at 6:06 PM: MoS PMO Jitendra Singh extended his condolences
Update at 6:05 PM: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had earlier in the day hailed Vajpayee as a statesman, extended her condolences
Update at 6:00 PM: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb Kumar extended his condolences
Update at 5:55 PM: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari, who is among a large group of very senior current BJP leaders that were nurtured by Vajpayee, extended his condolences.
Update at 5:50 PM: Congress President Rahul Gandhi extended his condolences. He had been to AIIMS on Thursday, perhaps to pay his last respects, in Vajpayee's final hours, and simply said "We will miss him".
Update at 5:46 PM: President Ram Nath Kovind extended his condolences, calling Vajpayee "the gentle giant"
Update at 5:45 PM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who considered Atal Bihari Vajpayee as his mentor, extended his condolences after his demise.
After having been admitted for nine weeks under a team of doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on Thursday at 5:05 PM.
He had been admitted to AIIMS on June 11 over respiratory and kidney-related ailments. In the days following his admission to the premier medical institute a number of political leaders had visited him, including former Prime Ministers HD Deve Gowda and Manmohan Singh, current and former Chief Ministers including Mamata Banerjee and Chandrababu Naidu, party presidents of the BJP and Congress Amit Shah and Rahul Gandhi respectively, as well as Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Health Minister J P Nadda, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan and senior BJP leader LK Advani. Over the subsequent days, AIIMS had released a number of medical bulletins with updates on his health, citing first that he was responding to treatment and would remain in the hospital till an infection he was suffering from was brought under control, and later, that his condition was stable and that he was showing improvement.
Soon after the medical bulletin stating the demise of the BJP leader, tributes poured on Twitter from popular political figures across the country. PM Narendra Modi who considered Atal Bihari Vajpayee as his mentor, in a series of tweets extended his condolences and stated how much the news saddened him