India’s Vajpayee, who set off nuke race and peace, has died

India’s Vajpayee, who set off nuke race and peace, has died

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died yesterday - a loss that was not only felt in India but the world politics as well.

The former Prime Minister was admitted to the hospital on June 11 with a kidney tract infection, urinary tract infection, low urine output and chest congestion.

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.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several ministers and top BJP leaders were present as Mr Vajpayee's body, in a glass casket draped in the national flag, was carried into the building by soldiers. He ordered nuclear tests in 1998 that raised fears of atomic war with Pakistan, but also, a few years later, reached across the border and made the first moves toward peace with Islamabad.

His second stint as Prime Minister was in 1998 when the National Democratic Alliance again came to power but that lasted for just 13 months.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee's final rites, cremation: Schoolchildren pay tribute to the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at a school in Jammu on Friday, Aug 17, 2018.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee's last journey: Many roads are blocked in the capital and traffic restrictions have been announced.

The BJP veteran was a diabetic and had one functional kidney.

Vajpayee was a man of contradictions: He was a poet and nature lover who tested nuclear bombs.

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The final restoration of ties and India's ultimate goal of being recognized a nuclear power was still few years away, but the seeds of if were sown during that visit.

Vajpayee avoided bedrock nationalist issues, like plans to build a Hindu temple at the site of a demolished north Indian mosque.

"It was due to the perseverance and struggles of Atal Ji that the BJP was built brick by brick", Modi said in a tweet.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo extended his condolences in a statement praising Vajpayee's contributions to India and to the development of bilateral relations.

In the days after the pogrom, Vajpayee said he could not understand how Hindus could burn women and children alive, sadly asking a group of Muslim survivors: "Have we lost our way so much that we cease to be humans?"

He was conferred India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, by the President of India in 2014.

Besides, there will be no any celebration at any government establishments of the state for the next seven days.

In the evening, Vajpayee's body was taken to his residence at Krishna Menon marg in New Delhi where host of leaders cutting across party lines and people from different walks of life paid their last respects.

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