AB Vajpayee's companion Mrs Kaul passes away at 86

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New Delhi, May 5: Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's constant companion for many years and the mother of his adopted daughter Namita Bhattacharya passed away at the AIIMS here on Saturday following a cardiac arrest, reported The Indian Express. She was 86.

According to the report, BJP leaders like LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad attended the funeral while Jyotiraditya Scindia was the only major Congress leader who was present. Congress president Sonia Gandhi called upon Vajpayee to pay her condolences, the report added.

The ailing prime minister could not attend the funeral

RSS functionary Suresh Soni and RSS pracharak and BJP general secretary (organisation) Ramlal were present at the funeral, the report said. BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi could not make it because of tight election schedule, the report added.

The ailing former prime minister, however, could not attend the funeral, said the report.

The report said that the press release described Kaul as Vajpayee's "household member".

It is known that Vajpayee had never married and lived with college friends Rajkumari Kaul and her husband Prof BN Kaul and he had adopted Namita, the Kauls' daughter.

The Indian Express report said: ""very few outside Vajpayee's close circle had actually interacted with the woman" and that she "fielded calls made to the BJP leader's house simply saying "Mrs Kaul bol rahi hoon."

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