Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former prime minister of India, passed away at the age of 93 on August 16. He was admitted at AIIMS, Delhi, for the last nine weeks. The veteran BJP leader was admitted on June 11, after he was diagnosed with kidney tract infection, urinary tract infection and low urine output.“Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts, we have lost him today. We join the nation in deeply mourning this great loss,” an AIIMS bulletin said.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the first non-Indian National Congress PM to serve a full five-year term.The veteran BJP leader served as the prime minister of India thrice. Vajpayee’s demise was mourned not only across the political spectrum but also by followers,celebrities and many others who loved and respected the leader.As the news of his demise was known, citizens mourned the loss of the Bharat Ratna awardee including political leaders and celebrities. Not just people in India, Netizens from Pakistan too paid their respect to the iconic leader for his peace initiative with the neighbouring nation.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born in a middle-class Brahmin family to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee on 25 December, 1924 in Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh). His father was a poet and a school teacher. Vajpayee did his schooling from the Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Gwalior. Later, he studied at Victoria College, Gwalior – now Laxmi Bai College, for his graduation. It was at Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College, Kanpur that Vajpayee completed his post-graduation in Political Science.
Started as a freedom fighter; took part in Quit India Movement in 1942. Met Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) leader Syama Prasad Mookerjee, took over BJS leadership after Mookerjee’s death.Founded the Bharatiya Janata Party (the BJP), along with his colleagues such as Lal Krishna Advani and Bhairon Singh Shekhawat in 1980. Served as the president of this party, during the first five years.Served as a Member of Parliament for 50 years. Was elected 10 times to Lok Sabha beginning with 1957, represented six different constituencies.
By 1984 elections, the BJP had established itself as an important political party in Indian politics. Vajpayee was sworn in as the 10th Prime Minister of India following the 1996 General Elections, where the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha. However, the government collapsed after only 13 days after his government could not gather support from other parties to obtain a majority. He thus became the shortest serving Prime Minister in India. In 1998, Headed the National Democratic Party (NDA) government as the Prime Minister for the second time but could rule only for 13 months when the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) withdrew its support.And in 1999 , Completed his full five-year term, becoming the longest serving non-Congress Prime Minister at the Centre (13 October 1999- 19 May 2004)).
The 2004 General Election brought about the downfall of the NDA, which lost almost half its seats and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) assumed the reins of power. Vajpayee refused to take up the position of the Leader of the Opposition paving the way for Lal Krishna Advani’s leadership of BJP.He was conferred India’s highest civilian honour,the Bharat Ratna, by the president of India ,Pranab Mukherjee in 2015. The Modi goverment declared in 2014 that vajpayee’s birtday,25 December,would be marked as Good Governance Day.