External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will commence the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Memorial Annual Lecture on December 25, the 96th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Memorial Annual Lecture on foreign policy will be delivered by Nisha Desai Biswal, President of the US-India Business Council.
“The MEA will commence the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Memorial Annual Lecture on foreign policy tomorrow on his 96th birthday. Will be delivered by Nisha Desai Biswal, President US-India Business Council. Please join us on @MEAIndia’s social media platforms at 10 am,” Jaishankar tweeted.
The veteran leader, who led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government from 1998-2004, was the first-ever person from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to become the Prime Minister. He served as Prime Minister thrice — briefly in 1996, from 1998-1999 and then for a full five-year term between 1999 and 2004.
During his tenure, India had carried out the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in Rajasthan in 1998 and the Kargil War between India and Pakistan had broken out in 1999.Apart from politics, Vajpayee was a prominent writer and has penned a number of poems.
After resigning as the prime minister in 2004, the BJP stalwart retired from active politics owing to his feeble health.
In 2015, Vajpayee was bestowed with Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civil honour.
December 25 is celebrated as ‘Good Governance Day’ in honour of Vajpayee.