Seven-day mourning in Himachal over Vajpayee's death

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Shimla : The Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday declared seven days of state mourning owing to the demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The national flag would also fly at half mast.

The state also declared two-day public holiday for August 17 and 18 as a mark of respect, an official statement said.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said the state's people would miss Vajpayee who had a special bond with the hill state.

He said that Vajpayee always considered Himachal Pradesh his second home and owned a house at Prini in Kullu district.

Thakur said the people will always miss the benevolence and special attachment Vajpayee had with the state.

In a condolence message, Governor Acharya Devvrat said with his simplicity and humility Vajpayee ruled the hearts of millions of people.

Vajpayee, 93, died in New Delhi on Thursday after a prolonged illness.