President, VP pay homage to Vajpayee

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New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice Presidednt M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday led a host of leaders in paying homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose body was lying in state at his residence after it was brought from the hopsital.

Officers from three forces draped the body in the Tricolour before enabling leaders and people to pay their last respects at his residence in central Delhi’s Krishna Menon Marg.

Kovind, who was accompanied by his wife Savita, placed a wreath near Vajpayee’s body.

Modi, who had arrived earlier and paid his homage, waited for the President and the Vice President, before leaving Vajpayee’s residence in central Delhi’s Krishna Menon Marg.

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Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accompanied by his wife also placed a wreath and paid homage to Vajpayee.

All of them consoled the foster daughter Namita, foster son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya, foster grand daughter Niharika, Vajpayee’s relatives and his long-time associate Shiv Kumar.

BJP President Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vashundhra Raje, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghuwar Das and Finance Commission Chairman N.K. Singh were among those who paid homage to the leader at his residence.

Former Vice President Hamid Ansari, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Yoga guru Swami Ramdev also paid homage.

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Yashwant Sinha, who held the finance and external affairs minister portfolio in Vajpayee’s cabinet, alsp paid his homage to the departed leader.

Vajpayee, a founder-member of the BJP and the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete a full term in office, died at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi on Thursday after prolonged illness. He was 93.

–IANS

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