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Last rites of former PM Vajpayee begin


New Delhi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday led the nation in paying tearful farewell to Bharat Ratna and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The galaxy of top political leaders were present at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal where cremation of the departed leader is being held. The buglers sounded last post at 1614 hours as all dignitaries stood up to pay their last respect to the departed leader and observed two minutes silence. Among the mourners included L K Advani, BJP chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Sushma Swaraj, Harsh Vardhan, Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal, Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Congress leaders Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and Ghulam Nabi Azad, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Thambi Durai and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Among the foreign dignitaries were Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali and Napal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali also laid wreaths.

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