New Delhi: Thousands of people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and foreign dignitaries bid goodbye to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal on the banks of Yamuna river in Delhi, where he was cremated with full state honours. The last rites were conducted by his family, led by foster daughter Namita Bhattacharya and grand-daughter Niharika.
Former PM Vajpayee cremated with full state honour, daughter Namita lights funeral pyre
Namita lit the pyre. The ceremony was attended by foreign dignitaries, including former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, Bhutan King Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, foreign ministers of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanks and Nepal, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, several political leaders from across the parties, chief ministers of states and Union ministers.
Earlier in the day, amid sultry weather conditions, a sea of people along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, several union ministers and chief ministers of several states including Vijay Rupani, Shivraj Chouhan, Yogi Adityanath and Devendra Fadnavis walked behind the carriage on a seven km-long route from BJP headquarter to the funeral site Smriti Sthal near Rajghat.
The country is observing a seven-day state mourning as a mark of respect for the former Prime Minister, who had been decorated with Bharat Ratna and was very popular. The tricolour is also flying half-mast.