New Delhi: Kamla Advani, wife of veteran BJP leader L. K.Advani, who remained out of politics but was often seen with him in public during his long political journey, died here on Wednesday following cardiac arrest.
Kamla, 83, who leaves a son and a daughter besides Advani, complained of uneasiness and breathlessness in the evening and was rushed to the AIIMS where doctors tried to revive her but in vain.
She was suffering from age-related problems for some time and was on wheelchair for the last few months, family sources said, adding she was also suffering from memory loss.
Advani, who was besides her when she breathed her last, often found support from her during the ups and down of his long political career.
An AIIMS statement said, "Kamla Advani, wife of L. K.Advani, was brought to the main casualty, AIIMS at 5.10pm in a very serious unconscious and unresponsive condition.
Immediate evaluation revealed the patient to be in cardiopulmonary arrest."
It said immediate resuscitation measures were provided by a team of doctors."However, despite 60 minutes of intensive efforts she could not be revived and was declared dead at 6.10 pm," the statement said. AIIMS Director M. C.Mishra said, "she was pulseless, her blood pressure was not recordable and she was unresponsive. Resuscitative measures were put in place and after about an hour she was declared dead."
The body was brought home late in the night and political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made their visit to pay their last respects. The cremation is likely to take place on Thursday. Kamla accompanied Advani during his famous and strenuous long 'rath yatra' in the late eighties and 90s that pitchforked BJP as the other pole in Indian politics and later during the "Shining India" campaign as deputy prime minister in the Vajpayee government.
Married in 1965, the couple celebrated their 50th marriage anniversary at a private function at their Prithviraj Road residence with family and close friends.
As a constant companion in Advani's political activities, BJP leaders deferred to her as an elder figure.
She was a social worker and had worked at the General Post Office.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a number of leaders including Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP President Amit Shah condoled her demise.
Offering his condolences, President Pranab Mukherjee said, "Kamla Advani was soft, cultured and left a lasting impression on whomsoever she met. I fondly recall many visits of Kamla Advani to Rashtrapati Bhavan accompanying Advanji and her endearing presence. Heartfelt condolences on the passing away of Smt Kamla Advani, wife of Shri Lal Krishna Advani."
Recalling his interactions with Kamla Advani, the prime minister said he was deeply pained by her demise and said his thoughts are with the Advani family in this hour of grief.
"Deeply pained and saddened by Kamla Advani ji's demise. She always inspired and motivated Karyakartas and was LK Advani ji's pillar of strength," he tweeted.
Shah said, "Deeply saddened by the demise of Kamla Advani ji. My heartfelt condolences to Advani family, May God give strength to bear the great pain."
Expressing grief and sorrow, Sonia said she shares the pain caused by their loss and prayed for the departed soul.
RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said, "Saddened by the demise of Kamla Advani. She lived an ideal life by Advaniji's side & an affectionate Mata to all of us thru her hospitality."
Expressing his condolences, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said, "My sincere condolences to Advaniji on the passing away of his wife Kamla Advani. My prayers are with him&his family in this time of grief."
Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sadananda Gowda, J. P. Nadda and Prakash Javadekar, were among the many who expressed grief and sorrow over her death.