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Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister, dies at 93

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New Delhi: Three-time prime minister and a towering politician admired by colleagues across party lines, Atal Bihari Vajpayee died in Delhi on Thursday. He was 93.

Vajpayee’s health turned critical on Tuesday, and doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences subsequently put him on life support.

He was admitted in AIIMS on June 11 with infection in his kidneys and urinary tract and chest congestion.

Top leaders visited Vajpayee since Wednesday evening – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah rushed to see him twice within 24 hours.

The former Prime Minister’s closest colleague L K Advani also visited him.

Since Thursday morning, BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, J P Nadda and Venkaiah Naidu visited the tenth Prime Minister of India, as did Delhi Chief Minister and his deputy Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia.

Leaders from other parties and chief ministers kept him in their thoughts as they tweeted for his recovery throughout the day.

Vajpayee was under the supervision of Dr Randeep Guleria, a pulmonologist and currently the Director of AIIMS. Dr Guleria has served as personal physician to the former prime minister for over three decades.

A team of doctors from the nephrology, gastroenterology, pulmonology and cardiology departments looked after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was in the hospital for the last nine weeks.

Born on December 25, 1924, Vajpayee served as India’s prime minister for first for a term of 13 days in 1996, and then from 1998 to 2004. He is the only non-Congress prime minister to complete the full term of five years, from 1999 to 2004.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha ten times and twice to the Rajya Sabha.

Following health problems, Vajpayee had slowly withdrawn himself from public life and rarely moved out of his home.

Vajpayee, a diabetic, had only one functional kidney. He had suffered a stroke in 2009 that weakened his cognitive abilities.

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