Bhutan King Among Foreign Dignitaries to Attend Vajpayee’s Funeral
Former Prime Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee would be given a state funeral at Smriti Sthal on Friday, 17 August. Many foreign leaders including the king of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck , arrived in the capital to pay their last respects to the leader.
Here’s a list of the foreign dignitaries who are going to be present at the funeral:
- Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Bhutan’s King
- Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Nepal's Foreign Affairs Minister
- Lakshman Kiriella, Sri Lanka’s Acting Foreign Minister
- Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister
- Ali Zafar, Pakistan’s Law Minister
The 93-year-old passed away on 16 August at 5.05 pm in Delhi’s AIIMS.
Catch live updates of the funeral here.
State Funeral to Take Place At 4 pm
According to reports, the Urban Development Ministry has allotted approximately 1.5 acres of land for Vajpayee’s memorial. Apart from the foreign dignitaries, the state funeral will be attended by various leaders of different states of India.
The ceremony that will begin in Smriti Sthal at 4 pm, will witness leaders such as Arvind Kejriwal, Chandrababu Naidu and Sitaram Yechury, who have kept their political differences aside to pay homage to the former prime minister.
Vajpayee’s demise was not mourned by politicians alone. Social media was filled with warm messages by celebrities such as Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, who expressed their grief over the leader’s death.
The death of the three-time prime minister, who was also a popular figure among world leaders, saw tributes from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Pakistan PM-designate Imran Khan.
Politicians & Celebrities Mourn For Vajpayee
Earlier on Friday, leaders of political parties and celebrities came to Vajypee’s residence in Delhi to pay their homage.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader, MK Stalin also made his way to Delhi for the funeral ceremony. “Despite ideological differences, the late 'Kalaignar' M Karunanidhi shared a cordial relationship with Vajpayee,” he told PTI.
Lyricist Javed Akhatar with wife, Shabana Azami, attended the ceremony. Akhtar said “It is very rare that a politician is respected across party lines. People with different ideology have also come here as they love him because he used to love all.”
Other prominent personalities who were present at his residence were, actress and BJP MP Hema Malini, Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu.