A stream of political leaders are making their way to the bedside of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who has been admitted at the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi for the last 9 weeks. Mr Vajpayee’s condition is critical and he is on life support system.
The 93-year-old, who was India’s 10th Prime Minister, was admitted to the hospital on June 11 with a kidney tract infection and chest congestion. A statement from AIIMS this morning said, “Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s condition continues to remain the same. He is critical and on life support systems”.
Several leaders including Senior BJP leader LK Advani, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah, EAM Sushma Swaraj, and Radha Mohan Singh is at the hospital to check on the former PM. Earlier in the morning, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu visited AIIMS to inquire about the former PM’s health condition. On Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Vajpayee. It was Modi’s fourth visit and he spent about 50 minutes there.
Since morning today, BJP chief Amit Shah and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, JP Nadda and Venkaiah Naidu and several other leaders have visited Mr Vajpayee.
LK Advani, one of Mr Vajpayee’s closest colleagues and his home minister in the NDA government from 1998 to 2004, was among the visitors.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was a minister in Mr Vajpayee’s government, is expected to fly to Delhi later today to visit him. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also expected to visit him.
Political leaders from other parts of India also shared their concern.
“Personally, I have been fortunate to receive much affection and advice from Atal-ji and an opportunity to understand public life… He was like a guardian to me. I wish him speedy recovery,” tweeted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee had headed governments thrice — for 13 days in 1996, 13 months in 1998 and for almost six years from 1999. His was the first non-Congress government to last for a full five-year term in office.
An outstanding parliamentarian, master orator, poet and liberal, Mr Vajpayee is hugely respected across party lines.