Former Indian PM Vajpayee Dies After Long Illness

India’s former three-time Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died Thursday in New Delhi.

Vajpayee was hospitalized at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital for more than two months for a kidney infection and chest congestion. He had been in critical condition and reportedly on life support shortly before his death.

The politician and poet ordered nuclear weapons tests in 1988 that fueled concerns of a nuclear war with neighboring Pakistan. But Vajpayee later traveled by bus to Pakistan and initiated a groundbreaking peace process with its rival.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Vajpayee on Twitter, writing his death “marks an end of an era.”

Vajpayee, a Hindu nationalist from the Bharatiya Janata Party, served as prime minister for 13 days in 1996, for eleven months between 1998 and 1999, and from 1999 to 2004. He was 93 years old.

Source: Voice of America