India Inc today paid a glowing tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, describing the former prime minister as a "great economic reformer" under whose visionary leadership the country made rapid strides in economic growth.
State mourning for seven days till 22 August. He again served as India's prime minister from 1999 to 2004.
Likewise, the opening ceremony of All India CRPF Athletic Meet 2018 scheduled in Bhubaneswar has been cancelled due to death of the former PM.
Referring to Vajpayee as a "great statesman", ambassador of Russian Federation to India, Nikolay Kudashev, said Vajpayee was an integral part of Indian politics and was a respected personality in India as well as globally.
A lifelong bachelor, Vajpayee was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1957 from Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh in India's second general elections. That changed within a month of Vajpayee returning to the prime minister's post in 1998, when he approved a series of nuclear weapons tests that shocked the world and pushed Islamabad to launch its own tests.
Vajpayee's signature in politics was achieving pragmatic consensus, and in this process he earned the respect of his party, allies and opponents.
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.
Vajpayee was a diabetic and had only one functional kidney. Subsequently, he developed dementia. Today, his birthday is celebrated as "Good Governance Day". Following a brief flirtation with communism, he became a full-time worker of RSS in 1947. According to a notification, which was issued just after his demise.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's last journey: Many roads are blocked in the capital and traffic restrictions have been announced. "We will miss him", Rahul Gandhi, president of the opposition Congress party, tweeted. George W Bush, then Texas governor who was running for the White House as a Republican candidate, had sought a meeting with Vajpayee - the only one from among the hundreds of world leaders in town then for the United Nations general assembly, Indian officials had then stressed. "My condolences to his family and millions of his admirers around the world". Amit Shah said the last rites Vajpayee will take place at 4 pm on Friday at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal here. From there it would be taken to the BJP headquarters tomorrow, where people would be able to pay their last respects.