Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee no more

Team Udayavani, Aug 16, 2018, 6:20 PM IST

New Delhi: Three-time Prime Minister of India and one of the country’s most respected politicians Atal Bihari Vajpayee has died. 93-year-old was receiving treatment since past nine weeks at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) which announced him dead at 5.05 pm on Thursday August 16th.

Mr Vajpayee was admitted to hospital with a kidney tract infection and chest congestion on June 11th.

Top politicians from across parties including Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the hospital as the former prime minister’s health worsened on Wednesday.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Atal Bihari Vajpayeewas born on December 25, 1924 in Gwalior and in 2014, Modi government declared his birthday to be marked as Good Governance Day.

Vajpayee ruled the country for 13 days in 1996, 13 months in 1998 and for almost six years from 1999. He was India’s only non-Congress prime minister to last a full five years in office.

Mr Vajpayee joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS in 1939 and became a full member in 1947. In 1951, he was drafted, along with Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, to work with the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the predecessor of his BJP. Vajpayee rose swiftly up the ranks but Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, remained his idol. Mr Nehru described the young Vajpayee as a ’bright prospect’.

When Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency Rule in June 1975, Vajpayee spent months in prison. He then became the foreign minister in the Janata government that came to power in 1977,

In 1962, he entered into parliament through the Rajya Sabha and only nine years later that he won an election being elected to the Lok Sabha seven times since.

The lowest point in his career came when in 1984, after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, the BJP that he set up with his long-time friend and colleague LK Advani managed to win just two seats in the 545-member Parliament.

Ram Janmabhoomi movement

BJP came to the spotlight with the “Ram Janmabhoomi movement” for a temple at the site of a 16th century mosque in Ayodhya that many Hindus believe was built on the birthplace of Lord Ram. However, Vajpayee was the only voice in his party who called it the “worst miscalculation” when karsewaks razed the mosque in 1992.

His boldest initiatives was his historic bus journey to Lahore in 1999 when he signed the landmark Lahore Declaration with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with both sides pledging to push for peace and security.

India a nuclear weapon state

“We have the capacity for a big bomb now. Ours will never be weapons of aggression,” said Atal Bihari Vajpayee when India conducted 5 Indian nuclear tests in one week in 1998 and made India a state with nuclear weapons.

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