TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 24 PAGES, NEW DELHI, `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) ● FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE A T A L B I H A R I VA J P A Y E E 19 2 4 - 2 0 18 A NATION’S LOSS Tears, grief across political faultlines, state funeral today Satta ka khel to chalega, sarkare aayengi... jayengi… magar yeh desh rahna chahiye President, PM lead nation in paying tributes to the departed leader LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, AUGUST 16 ATAL BIHARI Vajpayee, the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete a full term in office at the head of a coalition he stitched together with his moderate politics and charismatic appeal, died of multiple health complications at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi Thursday. He was 93. A bachelor, Vajpayee is survived by his foster daughter Namita Bhattacharya. He will be accorded a state funeral Friday afternoon and the final rites will be performed at the Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna in Delhi. The Ministryof HomeAffairssaidthe national flag would be flown at half mast from Thursday for seven days across India. “It is withprofound grief that we inform about the sad demise of former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, at 05:05 pm,” Dr (Prof) Aarti Vij of AIIMS said in a statement. He had been in AIIMS since June 11. Vij said Vajpayee’s condition was stable for the last nine weeks, but “unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life supportsystems. Despitethe best of efforts, we have lost him today. We join the nation in deeplymourningthisgreatloss”. FromtheAIIMS,hisbodywas takentohisresidenceonKrishna Menon Marg in New Delhi for (The game of power will go on... Govts will come and go... but this nation must remain) Atal Bihari Vajpayee In Lok Sabha, 1996 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY ATAL BIHARI Vajpayee’s liberal admirers sometimes described him as the right man in the wrong party. His critics called hima“mukhauta’’,amaskwhich hid his party’s harsh uncompromising Hindutva agenda. But it was his successor as prime minister, Manmohan Singh, who gave Vajpayee the epithet by whichhewillberememberedin history, “Bhishma Pitamah of Indian politics’’. Polls rating the popularity of India’s prime ministers invariably place Vajpayee as among the tallest. People close to Atalji, as he was called by those who knew him well, say the defining characteristicsof themanwashishumanism, humour, his love for INSIDE PAGES 12 & 13 THE MAN OF HEART people to pay their last respects. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in paying tributes to the departed leader as the government announced a seven-day state mourning. Leaders across the political divide mourned the passing awayof Vajpayee,aBharatRatna, and many showed up in New Delhi from different parts of the country to pay their respects. PresidentKovindsaid:“Atalji, the gentle giant, will be missed by one and all.” He said Vajpayee’s“leadership,foresight, maturityandeloquenceputhim in a league of his own”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “speechless... in a void” with a “welter of emotions” swirling at the passing away of Vajpayee. “Mein nishabd hoon, mein shunya mein hoon, lekin bhavnaon ka jwar umad raha hai... By PRATAP BHANU MEHTA THE IDEAS PAGE HE ONLY MADE FRIENDS, NO ENEMIES By M VENKAIAH NAIDU PAGES 8 - 10 LEGACY CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 POLITICS His art of coalition maintenance Death of a statesman: leader who always soft-spoke his mind NEW DELHI, AUGUST 16 “Personally, Atalji was an ideal, a Guru, and a role model who inspired me deeply. ” PAGE 7 THE EDITORIAL PAGE OBITUARY COOMI KAPOOR PRIME MINISTER’S TRIBUTE poetry, food and music. And, above all, his pragmatism. Born in Gwalior in 1924, Vajpayeewasthesonof aschoolteacher and was attracted to the RSS while still in his teens. Along the way, he outgrew to some extent the rigid and narrow concepts of the organisation which groomed him in politics and had the farsightedness to spot his oratorical skills early in life. It is testimony to Vajpayee’s softspokenstrengthandconciliatory approach that he never broke withtheRSS,asdidsomeothers, such as Balraj Madhok and Dr Raghuvira. Ashoka University’s Vinay Sitapati, who is writing a book on the BJP before Modi, believes that this was because, “the RSS, like the Catholic church, allows a lot of latitude provided you don’t cross the line.’’ And being CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SECURITY Engaging with Pak, redefining ties with US, leap in Kashmir ECONOMY Highway to I-T; FRBM to Kisan credit, the reformist Once upon a time in Amritsar. Swadesh Talwar/Express Archive He gave BJP its first light — and then faded into the shadows RAVISH TIWARI NEW DELHI, AUGUST 16 MOURNING THE demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Deputy Prime Minister and his comrade-inarms for almost 65 years L K Advani described him as “one of India’s tallest statesmen”. Vajpayee, in fact, did secure for BJP, its highest ever electoral support in the 1998 elections — 9.43 crore votes, a jump of almost 40 per cent from its 6.79 crore votes polled in 1996. But, subsequently, the BJP’s vote share and absolute vote tally kept falling, in 1999, in 2004, in 2009 — until Narendra Modi came and swept the 2014 elections, giving BJP an unprecedented 16.95 crore votes. “It was due to the perseverance and struggles of Atalji that the BJP was built brick by brick. He travelled across the length andbreadthofIndiatospreadthe BJP’s message, which led to the EXPLAINED PAGE INTRODUCING VAJPAYEE TO THE NEW VOTER PAGE 11 Vajpayee with Advani at the BJP rally at Ramlila Maidan after parting ways with the Janata Party in April 1980. Express Archive BJP becoming a strong force in ournationalpolityandinseveral states,”PrimeMinisterNarendra Modi said Thursday, crediting VajpayeeforbuildingtheBJP.And added how he “was an inspiration to Karyakartas like me”. Both these leaders took BJP to new electoral heights with their charisma and nationwide appeal, both shaped the party as it grew over the years. Although Modi is much junior to Vajpayee in politics, their paths once crossed famously in the virtual showdown between those supporting one or the other at the BJP’s national executive in Goa in April 2002 weeks CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Off camera, a PhD student in mourning to a PWD worker on the job ADITI VATSA & ABHISHEK ANGAD NEW DELHI, AUGUST 16 EXPRESS NETWORK ● KERALA FLOODS SPARK LANDSLIDES, TOLL 94, P 14 FROM A PhD student waiting outside 6 A, Krishna Menon Marg, to a PWD worker at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal. From a civil services aspirant and an advocate from Bihar to a group of migrant workers from UP. As the sun set on August 16, the legend of Atal Bihari Vajpayee brought them all together. One said Vajpayee brought communities together, another said he stood for an ideology he admired, a third said he didn’t know the man at all, he was merely focusing on his job — sprucing up the memorial where thousands will stand Friday. “Atalji worked for the nation. It didn’t matter for him whether someone was a Hindu or a Muslim, all communities had faith in him,” said Sudhir Kumar Ojha, a 49-year-old advocate from Muzaffarpur in Bihar, waiting outside Vajpayee’s residence on Krishna Menon Marg late Thursday night to pay his last respects. “As news of his deteriorating healthspread,a friend and Itook aflightfrom Patnato reachDelhi to catch a glimpse of his body,” he said. Also in the queue, was 29-year-old engineer Ashish THE NATIVE SON A VILLAGE NEAR AGRA REMEMBERS PAGE 6 PWD workers spruce up the road to Smriti Sthal where Vajpayee’s final journey will end Friday. Abhinav Saha Upadhyay, who “supports the ideology” of “Vajpayeeji’s party”. “But he was above party and politics. He kept all people united, and this had a deep impact on me,” he said. Dinanath Gupta, a PhD student at Jamia Millia Islamia, says he had been keeping watch on the former prime minister’s health. “In the afternoon, when hisconditionworsened,Ileftmy research work and went to AIIMS. I wished for his recovery but all of us knew his condition... I am prepared to wait here all night,if that’swhatittakestoget one look at his face,” he said. Also in the queue outside the Vajpayee home, RSS member and UPSC aspirant Rahul Ahvad says Vajpayee is his idol. “I met Vajpayeeji twice, in 2013 and 2015. He was not well then...Today, I just want to look at that great man once more. He maintained good relations with all parties, he took everyone along with him. His poems had a great impact on me, too,” he said. Barely 7 km away, 18-yearold Rahul Yadav leans on a plough, having removed a few rocks along a service lane near Rajghat. “I was not aware of who Atal Bihari Vajpayee was until this afternoon. I had never heard of him,” he said. Yadav was not born when India and Pakistan were engaged in the Kargil War, only a year old when the Parliament House in New Delhi was attacked, two when Gujarat was rocked by the Godhra riots, four when the Vajpayee government was voted out of power and just nine when Vajpayee slipped into the shadows. Clad in a neon-orange jacket, Yadav was one of the four men employed by the PWD to spruce up the lane leading to Rashtriya Smriti Sthal, where the former primeministerwillbecremated. “I lived in my village in UP’s Etah till a year ago and I dropped CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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