Vice-President, Venkaiah Naidu paid a tearful homage to his party leader, mentor and guide, former prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Atalji passed away this evening, at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), in New Delhi, after prolonged illness. He was 93. Venkaiah Naidu described Atalji as a colossal political leader as welll as a stateman. He is an inspiration to millions of Indians, he said. As prime minister, Vajpayee had brought in an era of development of technology and progress in the country, he observed.