Government offices and educational institutes in several states will be closed on Friday as a mark of respect for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who has died in Delhi after a long illness.
The governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Odisha have made announcements and more states are expected to follow soon.
“All Delhi government offices, schools and other institutions shall remain closed tomorrow, as mark of respect for our dear departed Sh Atal ji,” Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia tweeted.
“All schools including private schools also shall remain closed.
“This is to clarify that all education institutions in Delhi, including government, private, MCD, NDMC, etc. shall remain closed tomorrow,” Sisodia said in a series of tweets.
Vajpayee, the first non-Congress leader to serve a full term in power and who ordered nuclear tests to make India a nuclear weapons power, died on Thursday, the Delhi hospital where he was admitted said in a statement.
“All schools, colleges and offices in Uttar Pradesh will remain closed today (Friday) to mark respect to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee,” an official spokesman of the Yogi Adityanath government said in Lucknow.
In a statement, Tamil Nadu chief secretary Girija Vaidyanathan declared August 17 as a holiday for educational institutions, state government offices, public sector undertakings and government controlled bodies.
The BJP government in Gujarat has also declared a public holiday on Friday as a mark of respect for Vajpayee. All state government and semi-government offices, schools, colleges and universities will remain closed tomorrow, stated an official release.
The Himachal Pradesh, government, has declared a two-day public holiday on August 17 and 18 as a mark of respect for the late PM, an official statement said.
Renowned for his powerful oratory and poetry, Vajpayee, 93, one of the founder members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), served as Prime Minister for 13 days in 1996, 13 months (1998-99) at the head of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government and then for a full five year term (1999-2004).