Atal Bihari Vajpayee recognized early on that the US-India partnership would contribute to the world's economic prosperity and security and the two democracies continue to benefit from his vision, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo yesterday said while condoling the death of the former Indian Prime Minister.
Vajpayee, one of India's most charismatic leaders and inspirational orators, died yesterday at the age of 93.
Atal ji was on life support systems for last 36hrs
Vajpayee's death was announced by the AIIMS Hospital (Delhi) where he was admitted on June 11 with a variety of ailments. AIIMS said his condition was stable for the nine weeks, but deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life-support systems.
Pompeo recalls Vajpayee's address to US Congress in 2000
Pompeo said Indians will reflect on Vajpayee's many contributions that led to India's rise as a global and economic power.
"He championed tirelessly for India's development and demonstrated a devotion to improving the lives of Indians," he said in a statement.
He recalled Vajpayee's address to the US Congress in 2000, when he famously characterized US-India ties as a "natural partnership of shared endeavors".
Vajpayee suffered stroke in 2009; developed dementia later
Vajpayee, a diabetic, had only one functional kidney. He suffered a stroke in 2009 that weakened his cognitive abilities. Subsequently, he developed dementia.
He joined the Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangha (RSS) in 1947 and rose through ranks to become a stalwart of the BJP and was the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India to complete a full term in office.