The last rites of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee drew to its conclusion after his funeral pyre was lit by his foster daughter Namita Bhattacharya, surrounded by his family members. He was cremated full state honours at the Smriti Sthal in New Delhi.
The final rites were preceded by a gun salute before which the tricolour wrapped around his body was handed over to his granddaughter Niharika.
The event also saw various dignitaries like President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, veteran BJP leader LK Advani, BJP president Amit Shah and foreign dignitaries like Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Sri Lanka’s acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella paying their respects. Vajpayee was also honoured by the chiefs of all three armed forces.
Earlier, his final journey from the BJP headquarters to the Smriti Sthal saw a sea of mourners accompanying him to pay their last respects. This journey also notably saw Modi and Shah opting to walk the entire 4 km stretch on foot. It was speculated that about 5 lakh people participated in the proceedings.
Vajpayee has been hailed as a visionary who via his key decisions transformed various sectors like civil aviation, energy, finance, infrastructure and telecom.
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