New Delhi: Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is no more. He was 93. Vajpayee, who was under treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, for health complications arising from infection of kidney and urinary tracts, low urine output and chest congestion, succumbed at 5.05 pm Thursday.
The official press statement issued by the media and protocol division of AIIMS, New Delhi, undersigned its chairperson Dr (prof) Arti Vij, read: “It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee at 5:05 pm on 16.08.2018. Shri Vajpayee was admitted in AIIMS on 11.06.2018 and was stable in the last 9 weeks under the care of a team of AIIMS doctors. Unfortunately his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today. We join the nation in deeply mourning this great loss.”
Vajpayee, a diabetic, had only one functional kidney. He had suffered a stroke in 2009, which weakened his cognitive abilities. Subsequently, he developed dementia. He was under treatment at AIIMS since July 11.
Authorities at AIIMS had Wednesday announced that Vajpayee’s condition had worsened over the 24 hours prior. “His condition is critical and he is on life support system,” the healthcare institution said in a statement. The former prime minister was under the supervision of Dr Randeep Guleria, a pulmonologist and currently the Director of AIIMS. Guleria had served as personal physician to Vajpayee for over three decades.
According to a doctor at AIIMS, Vajpayee suffered pneumonia and multi-organ failure leading to his death. He was put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support on his last day, the doctor said on the condition of anonymity. ECMO is a technique that provides prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to persons whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange or perfusion to sustain life. The ECMO circuit acts as an artificial heart and lung for patients during therapy. Doctors said he was also being given intermittent dialysis. His body was sent to the anatomy department for embalming, doctors said.
AIIMS had been a beehive of activity since morning with leaders across the political spectrum paying a visit to the ailing leader. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the hospital for the second consecutive day Thursday.
He had visited Vajpayee Wednesday to inquire after the veteran leader’s health and reportedly spent 15 minutes with the leader. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, BJP chief Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, senior BJP leader and longtime friend LK Advani, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Uma Bharti, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah were among other visitors.
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi had visited the hospital Wednesday.
From Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who had held the portfolio of minister for mines in the Vajpayee Cabinet from March 19, 1998 to March 5, 2000, flew down to Delhi Thursday. Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patasani and Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan were among the others present.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the passing of Vajpayee marks the end of an era and that it was a “personal and irreplaceable” loss for him.
He said the BJP patriarch lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades. He was quick to add that Vajpayee’s exemplary leadership set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century.
“I will particularly remember his sharp intellect and outstanding wit. . . His futuristic policies across various sectors touched the lives of each and every citizen of India,” Modi posted in a tweet.
Vajpayee’s body is being taken to his residence in the national capital where people can pay their last respects, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.
Singh, who visited the AIIMS twice during the day when Vajpayee was on life support, said the nation has lost a stalwart who had dreamt of an India where “all persons lived together in unity, peace and harmony”.
“In Atalji’s demise the nation has lost a stalwart who was known for statesmanship and astute leadership. Atalji was a true ‘Ajatshatru’ (man with no enemies) who had many friends across the political spectrum. He believed in political consensus and his beliefs had consequential effect on Indian politics,” he said.
Naveen Patnaik condoles the death of former Prime Minister:https://bit.ly/2MMSOo6