Atal Bihari Vajpayee on life support system, political leaders visit him at AIIMS

Several political leaders -- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Senior BJP leader LK Advani, daughter Pratibha Advani and BJP President Amit Shah -- reached the hospital on Thursday morning to check on the former prime minister.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee on life support system, political leaders visit him at AIIMS

New Delhi: The condition of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee remains critical on Thursday morning and he is currently on life support system in Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). According to AIIMS on Wednesday, the medical condition of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart worsened over the last 24 hours. "Unfortunately, his condition has worsened over the last 24 hours. His condition is critical and he is on a life-support system," the AIIMS said in the statement.

Several political leaders -- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Senior BJP leader LK Advani, daughter Pratibha Advani and BJP President Amit Shah -- reached the hospital on Thursday morning to check on the former prime minister. 

Speaking to news agency ANI, his niece Kanti Mishra said, "I have been praying to god that just once I can see him give a speech again. Our family can never ever erase that image of his from our minds. I hope he gets well soon."

Congress President Rahul Gandhi will visit the ailing former prime minister.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to travel to the capital later on Thursday to pay a visit to the former prime minister at AIIMS. Her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal will also be visiting AIIMS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached the hospital on Wednesday at around 7.15 pm and spent about 50 minutes there. After PM Modi, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi also paid a visit.

Later in the night, several leaders and ministers including Suresh Prabhu, Jitendra Singh, Harsh Vardhan and Shahnawaz Hussain visited the hospital. 

Earlier in the evening, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani had visited the hospital to check on Vajpayee.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP President Amit Shah had visited AIIMS on August 11 to enquire about the health condition of Vajpayee. Shah visited AIIMS around 6.30 pm and Singh reached there around 8.15 pm to enquire about Vajpayee's health condition, a source at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said.

The 93-year-old leader has been receiving treatment at the AIIMS since June 11 for multiple ailments. He was taken to the hospital with chest congestion, kidney infection, urinary tract infection and other associated conditions. The three-time prime minister has been ailing since he suffered a stroke in 2009. He subsequently developed dementia, and has had trouble with cognition and memory.

On the 72nd Independence Day, PM Modi had cited Vajpayee in his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. He had quoted Vajpayee in the context of peace in Kashmir. "We will move forward in Jammu and Kashmir by embracing people and not by bullet and abuse (goli and gaali). For Jammu and Kashmir, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said --insaniyat (humanity), Kashmiriyat (eclectic Kashmiri culture), jamhooriyat (democracy). I have also said the solution of every problem of Jammu and Kashmir can be done only by embracing. Our government is committed to the development of all the areas and all sections of Jammu and Kashmir," PM Modi had said.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as Prime Minister of India for three terms that began in 1996, 1998 and 1999. He was the first non-Congress, non-Gandhi Prime Minister to complete a five-year term.

He was conferred India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, by the President of India in 2014. The Modi government in 2014 that Vajpayee's birthday, December 25, would be marked as Good Governance Day.

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