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Thousands gather as Vajpayee's funeral procession leaves BJP headquarters on Business Standard. The funeral procession will go through Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Delhi Gate, Netaji Subhash Marg, Nishadraj Marg and Shanti van before reaching Smriti Sthal <br>
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Thousands gather as Vajpayee's funeral procession leaves BJP headquarters The funeral procession will go through Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Delhi Gate, Netaji Subhash Marg, Nishadraj Marg and Shanti van before reaching Smriti Sthal.
Thousands of mourners jostled and some clambered on trees to capture the moment on their phones as former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's cortege left the BJP's headquarters for Rashtriya Smriti Sthal for the last rites of the poet-politician. People from across the country gathered outside the BJP headquarters and hundreds lined up inside to pay homage to the former prime minister, who wove together pragmatism and a vision for an inclusive India. Vajpayee, 93, passed away at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi Thursday evening after prolonged illness. The young and old, men and women, some with children, collected outside the gates of the BJP headquarters, anxious for a last glimpse of the late leader before the state funeral at the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna later in the day. Some clambered on a neem tree outside the BJP headquarters for a better look, desperate to be part of the proceedings but unable to get inside. Two big LED screens were placed outside the office. Inside, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and a host of ministers and party workers paid their last respects to the late leader, mourned by them and the opposition as one of India's tallest leaders. ALSO READ: Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee's mortal remains taken to BJP headquarters The air was solemn as Vajpayee's body, draped in the tricolour, was placed on a platform draped in white flowers. Hundreds of people filed past the body in silence, with a large portrait of a smiling Vajpayee -- a BJP flag on either side -- in the backdrop. Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali were among the foreign dignitaries who arrived here to pay their last respects to the former prime minister. Sri Lanka's Acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Nepal's Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Pakistan's acting information minister Syed Zafar Ali and a senior minister from Afghanistan are also expected to arrive later in the day, official sources said. Opposition leaders like CPI's D Raja and CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury were among those who visited the BJP headquarters to pay their respects. Article Source BS