India has lost a great son: Pranab Mukherjee

New Delhi: Expressing grief over the demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s death, former President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that India has lost a great son and an era had come to an end.

In an exclusive interview to ANI, former President Pranab Mukherjee said: “No doubt that the country will be poorer in the loss of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was like a colossus for almost six decades. I pay my deepest regards for this great son of India. Though he was suffering for a long time I did not believe that the end will come. Fate snatched him away from us. He carried conviction with everybody.”

Echoing similar views, former Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari asserted that Vajpayee will be remembered for a long time. “Atal Bihari Vajpayee was an eminent statesman known for his wisdom moderation intact. His way of communication was unique and made him extremely popular. This kind of a person comes once in a blue moon. He will be remembered for a long time,” Ansari said.

The 93-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran breathed his last at 5:05 pm on Thursday, here at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) following a prolonged illness.

Vajpayee, who led the National Democratic Alliance government from 1998 to 2004, was the first-ever member of the Bharatiya Janata Party to become India’s Prime Minister.