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Last rites of Vajpayee to be performed at 4 pm today, govt declares 7 day mourning

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    New Delhi, Aug 16: The government has announced a 7 day mourning from August 16 to 22 after the passing away of former prime minister and Bharat Ratna, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

    Atal Bihari Vajpayee

    The flag will fly at half mast and Vajpayee will be accorded a state funeral, the government has also decided.

    The mortal remains of the former PM will be taken to his Delhi residence. From there it would be taken to the BJP headquarters tomorrow, where people would be able to pay their last respects. The Cabinet decided that the state funeral for the departed leader would be held at Smriti Sthal, New Delhi.

    Decisions of the Cabinet:

    • State mourning for seven days till 22 August.
    • State Funeral for Mr Vajpayee at Smriti Sthal, New Delhi.
    • Half day holiday in the afternoon of day of funeral in all Central government offices and CPSUs across the country, and Delhi government offices in NCT of Delhi.
    • National Flag to fly at half mast throughout India and Indian missions abroad till 22 August.

    The body of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been taken to his residence in the national capital where people can pay their last respects, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said. "Vajpayeeji's body is being taken to his residence where people can pay their last respects," the home minister told reporters in Delhi.

    Describing former prime minister's death as a "huge personal loss", Singh said he was pained beyond words at the demise of Vajpayee, who had cherished the ideal of a developed and powerful India.

    Following the death of the leader, the BJP's national executive meeting scheduled for August 18 and 19 has been cancelled.

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