"Atal ji's passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me. I have countless fond memories with him," the prime minister said.
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died at the age of 93 after prolonged illness. He breathed his last at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi on August 16.
Vajpayee was admitted in June for a routine check-up and was diagnosed with urinary tract infection.
On Wednesday, the hospital had said in a medical bulletin that Vajpayee's condition had worsened over the last 24 hours.
The hospital added that the visionary leader's condition was critical and that he was put on life support.
A string of leaders condoled the demise of the revered leader on social media soon after the announcement was made.
Extremely sad to hear of the passing of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, our former Prime Minister and a true Indian statesman. His leadership, foresight, maturity and eloquence put him in a league of his own. Atalji, the Gentle Giant, will be missed by one and all #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 16, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "India grieves the demise of our beloved Atal Ji. His passing away marks the end of an era. He lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades. My thoughts are with his family, BJP Karyakartas and millions of admirers in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti."
India grieves the demise of our beloved Atal Ji.
His passing away marks the end of an era. He lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades. My thoughts are with his family, BJP Karyakartas and millions of admirers in this hour of sadness. Om Shanti.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 16, 2018
"It was Atal Ji's exemplary leadership that set the foundations for a strong, prosperous and inclusive India in the 21st century. His futuristic policies across various sectors touched the lives of each and every citizen of India," Modi said in another tweet.
"Atal Ji's passing away is a personal and irreplaceable loss for me. I have countless fond memories with him. He was an inspiration to Karyakartas like me. I will particularly remember his sharp intellect and outstanding wit," he added.
"It was due to the perseverance and struggles of Atal Ji that the BJP was built brick by brick. He travelled across the length and breadth of India to spread the BJP's message, which led to the BJP becoming a strong force in our national polity and in several states," the prime minister tweeted.
Today India lost a great son. Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji, was loved and respected by millions. My condolences to his family & all his admirers. We will miss him. #AtalBihariVajpayee
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 16, 2018
Earlier on Thursday, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted a few lines from one of Vajpayee’s poems on death.
अटल जी की कुछ पंक्तियाँ उनकी कविता "मौत से ठन गई" से!"मौत की उम्र क्या? दो पल भी नहीं
जिंदगी-सिलसिला, आज कल की नहीं
में जी भर कर जिया, मैं मन से मरूँ,
लौटकर आऊँगा, कूच से क्यों डरूँ?"— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 16, 2018
Filmmaker Muzaffar Ali told ANI earlier, "My prayers are with him, his presence is a great power to our democracy. He is a large-hearted person. Even if I opposed him, he was very dignified about it which speaks volume. He is very generous & very forthcoming."Ali had fought Lok Sabha elections against Vajpayee and had lost by 2.5 lakh votes.