Atal Bihari Vajpayee: On his 91st birthday, a relook at the Bharat Ratna's journey
Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the first and only person since Jawaharlal Nehru to occupy the office of the Prime Minister of India through three successive Lok Sabhas.
New Delhi: On the occasion of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's 91st birthday, we share with you some interesting facts about the Bharatiya Janata Party veteran.
- A bachelor and a poet of some repute, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on December 25, 1924 at Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to Krishna Bihari Vajpayee and Krishna Devi, a high-caste Brahmin family.
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister of India from May 16-31, 1996, and then again from March 19, 1998 to May 13, 2004. With his third swearing-in as Prime Minister after the Parliamentary Elections in 1999, he became the first and only person since Jawaharlal Nehru to occupy the office of the Prime Minister of India through three successive Lok Sabhas.
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first Prime Minister since Indira Gandhi to lead his party to victory in successive elections.
- Vajpayee is the only parliamentarian elected from four different states at different times namely - Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.
- Vajpayee was elected to the Lok Sabha (House of the People) nine times and to the Rajya Sabha (House of the States) twice, a record by itself.
- Vajpayee’s first brush with nationalist politics was in his student days, when he joined the Quit India Movement of 1942 which hastened the end of British colonial rule.
- Educated at Victoria (now Laxmi Bai) College, Gwalior and DAV College, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Vajpayee holds an MA (Political Science) degree and has many literary, artistic and scientific accomplishments to his credit.
- A student of political science and law, Vajpayee had embarked upon a journalist’s career, which was cut short in 1951 when he joined the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the fore-runner of today’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
- Founder-member of the erstwhile Jana Sangh (1951), President, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (1968-1973), leader of the Jana Sangh parliamentary party (1955-1977) and a founder-member of the Janata Party (1977-1980), Vajpayee was President, BJP (1980-1986) and the leader of BJP parliamentary party during 1980-1984, 1986 and 1993-1996.
- With his Parliamentary career spanning over five decades, Vajpayee was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1957 on Bhartiya Jan Sangh ticket.
- He was India's External Affairs Minister in the Morarji Desai Government from March 24, 1977 to July 28, 1979.
- Vajpayee was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 1992 in recognition of his services to the nation. He was also conferred the Lokmanya Tilak Puruskar and the Bharat Ratna Pt Govind Ballabh Pant Award for the Best Parliamentarian, both in 1994.
- The veteran Parliamentarian received the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, on March 27, 2015.
- Vajpayee has faded from public life due to age-related illness. He is lauded as a statesman and has been often described as the moderate face of BJP.