Atal Bihari Vajpayee's 'asthi kalash yatra' begins; Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh take part

Earlier in the day, Vajapyee's foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya and granddaughter Niharika collected his ashes from the Smriti Sthal where he was cremated on August 17. 

Atal Bihari Vajpayee's 'asthi kalash yatra' begins; Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh take part

HARIDWAR: The ashes of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be immersed at Har-ki-Pauri in Haridwar on Sunday. Before the immersion at Har-ki-Pauri, the family is taking three urns of ashes to Prem Ashram. His ashes will be immersed in various rivers across the country.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his Uttarakhand counterpart Trivendra Singh Rawat among others are present for the 'asthi kalash yatra' that is being carried out for the late PM.

Earlier in the day, Vajapyee's foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya and granddaughter Niharika collected his ashes from the Smriti Sthal where he was cremated on August 17. 

"His (Vajpayee's) ashes will be immersed in various sacred rivers across the country and the 'asthi kalash' taken to all the districts headquarters and state capitals. Prayer meetings will take place in the state capitals, district headquarters and at the panchayat level," BJP leader Bhupender Yadav said.

An all-party prayer meeting will be organised for the BJP stalwart on August 20 in Delhi and a similar meeting will be organised in Lucknow on August 23.

The former PM, who died on August 16, was cremated with full state honours the next day. President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Pakistan's Law Minister Ali Zafar were among the thousands who attended the last rites of the former PM. 

Namita lit the pyre as cries of "Atal Bihari Amar Rahe" reverberated in the air. Thousands of mourners had poured into the streets as Vajpayee's cortege made its way from his home to the BJP headquarters on Deendayal Upadhyay Marg and then to the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal.

Breaking the protocol, Modi along with BJP president Amit Shah walked behind the gun carriage decorated with flowers for the entire route of nearly 3.5 kilometers. He said that people came from all parts of India and from all sections of society to pay tributes to an extraordinary personality who made an extraordinary contribution to the nation. 

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