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News at Nine

2100 HRS

2100 HRS.

17th August, 2018

  • Mortal remains of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee consigned to flames with full state honours at Smriti Sthal in New Delhi.

  • Thousands pour in on the streets of the national capital to pay tribute to the departed soul; Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the funeral procession from BJP headquarters to Smriti Sthal.

  • Mr Modi says, no words can ever do justice to Atal Ji's rich contribution towards making of the country.

  • Leaders across the world mourn the demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

  • Flood situation continues to be grim in Kerala; Prime Minister leaves for the state to take stock of the situation.

  • Third cricket test between India and England to be played in Nottingham from tomorrow.   


The mortal remains of Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee were consigned to flames with full state honours at Smriti Sthal in New Delhi this evening. The funeral pyre was lit by his daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya amidst chanting of mantras.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid their last respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Smriti Sthal.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa paid their last tributes to Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP President Amit Shah, Senior BJP Leader L K Advani and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also paid their respects.

King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and Acting Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Lakshman Kiriella also paid their last respects. Other foreign dignitaries including Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Pakistan's Law Minister Ali Zafar attended Vajpayee's funeral. 

Our correspondent reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the funeral procession from BJP headquarters to Smriti Sthal.

"The crowd had begun gathering from last night itself as the news of  death of  the three-time Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee broke all over.  His mortal remains were shifted from his residence to the BJP headquarters this morning, where scores of leaders and common people  paid tributes to  the  man of masses through the day. A Sea of  humanity  followed Mr Vajpayee's funeral procession. Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked  the entire route  behind the flower-decked casket, along with other top BJP leaders and Ministers. A huge crowd of people showered petals at the procession and jostled to get a glimpse of the departed leader. Bugles sounded the last post, uniformed soldiers gave a gun salute and silence fell all over as former Prime minister  Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee's mortal remains were consigned to flames. With Dipendra, Anand Kumar, AIR News Delhi "

Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and others prominent leaders were present at Smriti Sthal for the funeral.

93 year old Vajpayee, passed away at AIIMS in New Delhi last evening after a prolonged illness.

A 7-day state mourning is being observed as a mark of respect to the departed leader. The national flag will fly half mast across the country till the 22nd of this month. At all Indian missions abroad, the National flag is flying half mast today.

Several countries have expressed condolences on the demise of Vajpayee. US, UK, Russia, Japan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan have conveyed condolences on the demise of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said India-US bilateral relationship continues to benefit from former Prime Minister, Atal Bihar Vajpayee's vision.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Vajpayee was one of the most famous sons of India. She said in a tweet that Vajpayee was highly respected in Bangladesh and it is a day of great sadness for Bangladesh.

Pakistan's Prime Minister elect Imran Khan expressed condolences saying his efforts for improvement in relations between Pakistan and India will be remembered forever.

China also paid homage to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, describing him as an outstanding politician who made path-breaking contributions to the development of bilateral relations.

President Ram Nath  Kovind  has shared his memories of former Prime Minister  Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In a short video message, Mr. Kovind said  he had dedicated his entire life to the nation.  Mr Kovind  also recalled his association with Vajpayee when he was an MP. 

अटल जी का व्यक्तित् एक महान व्यक्तित् था। बरसों तक मुझे अटल जी का सानिध् प्राप् होता रहा। उनमें अंहकार की भावना दूर-दूर तक नहीं थी और मैं हमेशा सोचता था कि शायद सार्वजनिक जीवन का अंहकार मुक् जीवन बहुत अच्छा होता है। ये मैंने उन्ही से सीखा है। 

The President has also written to Ms Namita Kaul Bhattacharya and conveyed his condolences on the passing away of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

In his message, the President said, Atalji’s death is a personal loss. It was his stature and dignity that attracted him to public life, as he gave up the legal profession to become his colleague. Mr Kovind said, working with him was an unforgettable experience.

 He said, in his long and distinguished public career, Mr Vajpayee touched innumerable lives in innumerable ways as a freedom fighter, an intellectual, a writer, a poet, a parliamentarian and finally as Prime Minister. He was truly the Renaissance Man of Indian politics.

Mr Kovind said the former prime minister was an example of grace under pressure, and of decisive leadership in challenging circumstances.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, no words can ever do justice to former Prime Minister  Atal Bihari Vajpayee's rich contribution towards the making of  the country. In a tweet after Vajpayee's  funeral, Mr. Modi said, people from all parts of India and  all sections of society came together to pay their tributes to an extraordinary personality, who made an extraordinary contribution to the nation. Mr. Modi said the former Prime Minister will live forever in the hearts and minds of every Indian. 

In Uttar Pradesh, People from all walks of life paid rich tributes to their beloved leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The state government has announced to launch many special works in the memory of great statesman. Students, traders, political workers and a large number of people from minority sections attended the programmes held all over state to pay homage to the former Prime Minister.

A poet, statesman and a beloved leader, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was known for his cultural moderation, liberalism and political reasonableness. He will be remembered for his love for poetry, his respect for politics and above all for being a Prime Minister with integrity and grace. His legacy includes astute and forward looking economic policies, massive infrastructure projects like development of national highways and fast-tracking the growth in the telecom sector. An ardent champion of women’s empowerment and social equality, Vajpayee believed in a fast moving India, a strong and prosperous nation. He served as the Prime Minister of India, thrice, first for a term of 13 days in 1996. His second stint as the Prime Minister was from 1998 to 1999, and then for a full term from 1999 to 2004. With his swearing-in as the Prime Minister in 1999, he became the first and only person since Jawaharlal Nehru to occupy the office of the Prime Minister through three successive Lok Sabhas.  Atal Bihari Vajpayee's words and mannerism carried a charisma that made even his political opponents hold him in high regard. The veteran leader was awarded with India's highest civilian honour  the Bharat  Ratna in 2015.  In 1996 when Vajpayee had formed a minority government which continued for just 13 days, he had announced his resignation in Parliament in a thunderous speech.

Under his leadership, India successfully conducted Pokhran-II nuclear tests and cemented its position as a nuclear state in 1998.

As a foreign minister, he was the first person to speak in Hindi in the United Nations in 1977. In his speech, Mr Vajpayee pointed attention towards prevailing world problems.

93 year old Vajpayee was born on 25th December 1924, at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. His first brush with nationalist politics was in his student days, when he joined the Quit India Movement in 1942. He had embarked upon a journalist’s career, which was cut short in 1951 when he joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the fore-runner of today’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Vajpayee was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1957 and had a long parliamentary experience spanning over four decades. He was elected to the Lok Sabha nine times and two times to the Rajya Sabha.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been known for his master oratory and poems. There is a very famous poem he wrote after his treatment in US about his encounter with death.


The flood situation in rain ravaged Kerala continue to be grim with thousands still trapped in many places. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said hectic efforts are underway to rescue people stranded in various areas and added that united efforts of the Central forces and the state machinery are progressing.

As a relief to the people, the Indian Meteorological Department has announced that the rains will subside from Sunday in the state.

" Around two lakh twenty five thousand people are lodged at 1568 relief camps across the state. The receding water level in Periyar has been helping in rescue operations in and around Ernakulam. However, thousands are still trapped in many regions of Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur Alappuzha and nearby districts. Food and water is being distributed to people trapped in many regions using helicopters. Shamila, AIR News, Thiruvananthapuram"

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for Kerala this evening where he will undertake an aerial survey of the flood affected regions. Earlier in the day,  Mr Modi had a telephonic conversation with the Chief Minister regarding the flood situation. Both leaders discussed the situation across the state and reviewed the rescue operations. 


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), chairman Imran Khan has been elected as Pakistan's new prime minister. The Cricketer-turned politician Khan, secured 176 votes while his only rival and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Shahbaz Sharif got 96 votes in the polling that took place in the National Assembly today.


The benchmark domestic share indices today recovered previous session losses amid positive global stocks. Sensex climbed 284 points at 37,948. Nifty also surged 86 points to 11,471.

In secondary indices at BSE, Mid Cap gained 0.88 percent while Small Cap was up by 0.94 percent.


The third Test between India and England starts at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, tomorrow.  The match will begin at 3.30 p.m. Indian Time. 

India will aim at redemption against  England in this  Test , which will be Indian team's last chance to save the 5-match series after being outplayed in the first two Test matches.

India lost to England  by 31 runs at Edgbaston and by an innings and 159 runs at the Lord's.  Hence  a slew of changes are expected in the third test. 


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