Atal Bihari Vajpayee Funeral LIVE Updates: Route Being Cleared to Take Former PM’s Body to New BJP HQ

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Funeral LIVE Updates: Route Being Cleared to Take Former PM’s Body to New BJP HQ

Event Highlights

Atal Bihari Vajpayee Funeral Updates: Last tributes are being paid to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Smrithi Sthal near Rajghat where the last rites will take place shortly. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and other senior leaders of the party walked in the funeral procession along with thousands of mourners from the BJP headquarters. Vajpayee, who passed away yesterday, will be cremated with full state honours. PM Modi, a galaxy of politicians, foreign leaders, military chiefs are paying tribute to the BJP stalwart, one of India’s tallest leaders, at the samadhi site.

There was massive deployment of police and paramilitary personnel along the entire procession route. The roads to avoid are Krishna Menon Marg, Sunehri Bagh Road, Tughlak Road, Akbar Road, Tees January Marg, Man Singh Road, Bhagwan Dass Road, Shahjahan Road and Sikandara Road. In a rare gesture by a foreign mission in India, the UK High Commission is flying the Union Jack at half-mast to mourn the death of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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Aug 17, 2018 4:39 pm (IST)

Priests chant funeral mantras as Namita Bhattacharya and other family members of Atal Bihari Vajpayee perform the last rites at Smriti Sthal.

Aug 17, 2018 4:38 pm (IST)

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita Bhattacharya performing the last rites along with her daughter Niharika as thousands look on at the Smriti Sthal. Several world leaders are in attendance along with PM Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and others.

Aug 17, 2018 4:35 pm (IST)

The mortal remains of Atal Bihari Vajpayee is being taken out of the casket ahead of the cremation at Smriti Sthal. 

Aug 17, 2018 4:31 pm (IST)

Army personnel hand over the tricolour to Niharika, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s adopted granddaughter. 

Aug 17, 2018 4:26 pm (IST)

We are here to share your grief and pay our condolences on the behalf of people of Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan: Pakistan Law Minister Ali Zafar after arriving in Delhi for the funeral of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Aug 17, 2018 4:26 pm (IST)

LK Advani pays his last respects to the mortal remains of close comrade and compatriot for over 6 decades, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Aug 17, 2018 4:24 pm (IST)

Nepal foreign minister Khadga Prasad Oli, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai lay wreaths to pay respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Aug 17, 2018 4:15 pm (IST)

Army, Navy and Air Force personnel give ceremonial salute to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee as PM Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Amit Shah, LK Advani, Union Cabinet ministers and opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh stand paying respects to the veteran BJP leader who passed away on Thursday.

Aug 17, 2018 4:12 pm (IST)

President Ram Nath Kovind arrives at the Smriti Sthal to pay his last respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Aug 17, 2018 4:10 pm (IST)

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh are seated at the Smriti Sthal alongside Venkaiah Naidu, LK Advani, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and PM Narendra Modi.

Aug 17, 2018 4:08 pm (IST)

Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, accompanied by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, arrives at the Smriti Sthal to honour the departed soul of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, often regarded as the tallest statesman of India.

Aug 17, 2018 4:06 pm (IST)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays his last respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Aug 17, 2018 4:05 pm (IST)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays a wreath, pays his last respects to former Prime Minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Aug 17, 2018 4:03 pm (IST)

Air Force chief BS Dhanoa, Navy chief Sunil Lanba and Army chief Bipin Rawat pay their respects to the mortal remains of Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Smriti Sthal.

Aug 17, 2018 3:54 pm (IST)

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s mortal remains being carried by Navy, Army and Air Force personnel at the Smriti Sthal. (TV grab)

Aug 17, 2018 3:51 pm (IST)

The massive procession accompanying Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s mortal remains have reached the Smriti Sthal, where the former Prime Minister will be cremated. A host of senior BJP leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are walking with the remains along with lakhs of mourners.

Aug 17, 2018 3:43 pm (IST)

Congress President Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have arrived at Smriti Sthal, and are in the front row of attendees who have come to attend the state funeral of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and pay their final respects.

Aug 17, 2018 3:27 pm (IST)

In a rare gesture by a foreign mission in India, the Union Flag is flying at half-mast at the British High Commission in New Delhi as mark of respect to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away in New Delhi on August 16 at the age of 93. The state funeral of Vajpayee is taking place in the Capital currently, with the last rites expected to take place later in the evening, 

Aug 17, 2018 3:19 pm (IST)

All the medals which will be won by Indian athletes in Asian Games 2018 will be dedicated to the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Chef de Mission (CDM) Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. 

Aug 17, 2018 3:07 pm (IST)

Aug 17, 2018 2:37 pm (IST)


Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, and other government officials and politcians, join the funeral cortege of former PM Vajpayee, as it makes its way to Smriti Sthal for the last rites and subsequent state funeral. They are joined by tens of thousand of ordinary citizens, all seeking to pay their final respects to the statesman.

Aug 17, 2018 2:02 pm (IST)

Mortal remains of Atal Bihari Vajpayee depart for last rites at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal, on what will be the former Prime Minister’s final journey. His funeral is expected to take place at 4pm.

Aug 17, 2018 1:53 pm (IST)

King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck pays tribute to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee at BJP headquarters in Delhi. PM Modi, Sushma Swaraj and Amit Shah also present.

Aug 17, 2018 1:00 pm (IST)

Aug 17, 2018 12:55 pm (IST)

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister have condoled the death of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said the former Indian prime minister played a vital role in ensuring stability of the island nation. Vajpayee, one of India’s most charismatic leaders and inspirational orators, died yesterday at the age of 93 in New Delhi. Sri Lanka is sending Minister of Highways and Higher Education Lakshman Kiriella to represent the country at Vajpayee’s funeral in New Delhi​

Aug 17, 2018 12:44 pm (IST)

The cremation of veteran BJP leader and three time prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will take place at Smriti Sthal near Rajghat in Delhi on Friday. Though born on Christmas day at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to submerge the ashes of the veteran leader in all the holy rivers of the state. It bears noting that Vajpayee’s ancestral home is at Bateshwar in Agra district of UP. He completed his MA in Political Science from Kanpur University. Also, the first time Vajpayee was elected to parliament was from Balrampur constituency in UP. He thereafter won many times from Lucknow as well. 

Aug 17, 2018 12:31 pm (IST)

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali arrives in Delhi, he will attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Aug 17, 2018 12:24 pm (IST)


Sources say Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah are flying together on Row 1 of a Go Air flight from Srinagar to Delhi. Both are flying to Delhi to attend the last rites of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee . Mehbooba Mufti is accompanied by her party’s MLAs.

Aug 17, 2018 12:19 pm (IST)

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali arrives in Delhi, he will attend the funeral of former Prime Minster Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Aug 17, 2018 12:10 pm (IST)

BJP patriarch pays his final respects to his long-time comrade and friend Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the former PM’s body lies in state at party headquarters in Delhi.

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Thousands of mourners jostled and some clambered on trees to capture the moment on their phones as Vajpayee’s cortege left the BJP’s headquarters for Rashtriya Smriti Sthal for the last rites of the poet-politician. People from across the country gathered outside the BJP headquarters and hundreds lined up inside to pay homage to the former prime minister, who wove together pragmatism and a vision for an inclusive India.

The young and old, men and women, some with children, collected outside the gates of the BJP headquarters, anxious for a last glimpse of the late leader before the state funeral at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna later in the day. Some clambered on a neem tree outside the BJP headquarters for a better look, desperate to be part of the proceedings but unable to get inside. Two big LED screens were placed outside the office.

Inside, Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and a host of ministers and party workers paid their last respects to the late leader, mourned by them and the opposition as one of India’s tallest leaders. The air was solemn as Vajpayee’s body, draped in the tricolour, was placed on a platform draped in white flowers. Hundreds of people filed past the body in silence, with a large portrait of a smiling Vajpayee — a BJP flag on either side — in the backdrop.

Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali were among the foreign dignitaries who arrived here to pay their last respects to the former prime minister.

Sri Lanka’s Acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Pakistan’s acting information minister Syed Zafar Ali and a senior minister from Afghanistan are also expected to arrive later in the day, official sources said.

Opposition leaders like CPI’s D Raja and CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury were among those who visited the BJP headquarters to pay their respects.
Earlier in the morning, hundreds of people chanted “Atal Bihari Amar Rahe” as Vajpayee’s cortege made its way from his home through the city to reach the BJP office.

Mourners walked and ran beside the carriage, also chanting slogans like ‘Jab tak sooraj chand rahega Atal ji ka naam rahega”, punctuated by patriotic cheers of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’.

A decorated gun carriage carrying his mortal remains had left his home on Krishna Menon Marg around 10 am and reached the party’s headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, about five kilometres away, around 11 am.

Seen as a moderate face of BJP, Vajpayee first became prime minister in 1996, leading a shaky coalition whose members were suspicious of the BJP’s right-wing politics. It lasted for 13 days and collapsed after losing a vote of no-confidence. His second stint as prime minister was in 1998 when the National Democratic Alliance again came to power but that lasted for just 13 months. Finally, the NDA with Vajpayee as PM returned to power in 1999 and was voted out in 2004.

The central government has declared a half-day holiday today while some states have declared full-day holiday in view of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s death. Roads to avoid. A seven-day state mourning has been announced by the Centre and the national flag would fly at half-mast from today for seven days across India. The half holiday stands for all central government offices, central public sector undertakings across the country and the Delhi government offices. The West Bengal government has declared a half-day holiday today. In Goa, all government offices, public sector undertakings and educational institutions will also remain closed.

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