A man of masses, veteran leader and Former Prime Minister Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away this evening in New Delhi. The 93-year-old veteran leader breathed his last at 5.05 PM at AIIMS where he was admitted for treatment.
In a statement, the AIIMS said, Vajpayee was admitted in the hospital on 11th of June this year and was stable in the last nine weeks under the care of a team of AIIMS doctors. Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s legacy as Prime Minister is a rich one that will be remembered and cherished even a decades later. It included the Pokhran-2 nuclear tests, astute and forward-looking economic policies, massive infrastructure projects like the development of national highways are some of them.
An ardent champion of women’s empowerment and social equality, Vajpayee believed in a forward-looking and fast moving India, a strong and prosperous nation confident of its rightful place in the comity of nations. Vajpayee was an eminent national leader, an erudite politician, a selfless social worker, forceful orator, poet and litterateur, journalist and indeed a multi-faceted personality.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister first in May 1996 for 13 days and again in March 1998 to 2004. With his swearing-in as Prime Minister after the Lok Sabha polls of October 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. He was awarded India’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 2015.
The country’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, was conferred upon him in recognition of his selfless dedication to his first and only love, India, and his more than half-a-century of service to society and the nation. In 1994, he was named India’s ‘Best Parliamentarian.’
93 year old, Vajpayee was born on 25th December 1924, in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. He was the son of Krishna Bihari Vajpayee and Krishna Devi. 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.
A student of political science and law, it was in college that he developed a keen interest in foreign affairs. He 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.
A critically acclaimed poet, Vajpayee was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1957 and had a long parliamentary experience spanning over four decades. He was elected to the Lok Sabha nine times and two times for the Rajya Sabha.