Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed "deep shock" at the demise of India's former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said he was "our great friend and highly respected" in Bangladesh. President Abdul Hamid said Vajpayee's demise has created an irreparable vacuum in the politics of the subcontinent. A Bharat Ratna Awardee, Vajpayee died this evening in New Delhi at the age of 93 after prolonged illness. In a condolence message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Hasina said, "it is a day of great sadness for the people of Bangladesh". "We are deeply shocked at the sad demise of the former Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, one of the most famous sons of India," Prime Minister Hasina said. He will be remembered for contributing towards good governance and for highlighting issues affecting the common people of India as well as for regional peace and prosperity, she said. Hasina said Vajpayee's tireless work for the welfare of the Indian people will inspire future generations of leaders and described him as "an excellent orator and a poet" who took significant strides towards acceleration of inclusive economic growth in India. "Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was our great friend and highly respected in Bangladesh. As a token of recognition for his invaluable contribution to our Liberation War in 1971, Bangladesh Government conferred on him the Bangladesh Liberation War Honour. Today is certainly a day of great sadness for all of us in Bangladesh," she said in her message. "On behalf of the Government and the people of Bangladesh and on my own behalf, I express our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the Government and the mourning people of India, and to the members of the bereaved family," she added. In his condolence message, President Hamid said Vajpayee's contribution to the development of this region will ever be remembered with due respect.