New Delhi: Thousands of people flocked the roads in the national capital on Friday to pay last respects to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was cremated with full state honour at Smriti Sthal. His daughter Namita Bhattacharya lit the funeral pyre, while the Tricolour, wrapped around the glass coffin of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was handed over to his granddaughter Niharika. He was accorded rifle salute.
Niharika’s mother was adopted by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Her father Ranjan Bhattacharya is a businessman and bureaucrat, who was also appointed an officer on special duty at PM’s office during Vajpayee’s 13-day tenure in May 1996. Her mother Namita Bhattacharya is Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s foster daughter and the biological daughter of his friend Rajkumari Kaul. One of the precious relation in the earth is the grandchildren-grandparents relation, so was Vajpayee and Niharika’s bonding too. Niharika was very fond of her grandfather ‘Bharat Ratna’ Vajpayee. And his death cast a gloom over the whole family as well as Niharika.Hence it is a great sorrow for her. Hours after remaining teary-eyed and finally she broke down and sobbed.Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the family members of the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Smriti Sthal in Delhi, earlier today.
Earlier in the day, the cadaver was taken out from the newly built Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters – the walls of which saw Vajpayee for the first and the last time.
People sprinkled rose petals on their beloved leader as his final journey began towards Smriti Sthal a large piece of land with manicured grass behind the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.
The death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is a huge loss and his departure has left a void that would be “impossible to fill”, his family members said on Thursday.
He passed away at AIIMS this on Thursday evening at the age of 93 due to prolonged illness.