Atal Bihari Vajpayee was an Indian politician who served as the Prime Minister of India for three times. He was also the member of Indian Parliament, elected to the Lok Sabha ten times and the Rajya Sabha twice.
Vajpayee was born on 25 December 1924 in Gwalior. He did his schooling in Gwalior and completed his post-graduation with an M.A. in Political Science in Kanpur. He started his activism in the youth wing of the Arya Samaj and subsequently became its general secretary in 1944. He also joined the RSS in 1939 and started working for newspapers and dailies. Later, In August 1942 he was arrested for 23 days during the Quit India Movement.
After Gandhi’s Assassination, the RSS was banned. In 1951, he joined the Hindu right-wing political party, Bharatiya Jana Sangh. In 1977, he became the Minister of External Affairs in the cabinet of Prime Minister Morarji Desai. Later, in 1980, he became the BJP’s first president and emerged as a strong critic of the then Congress government.
After propelling BJP to greater political prominence, he became the Prime Minister in the May 1996 parliamentary elections. However his term lasted for only 13 days, after failing to muster support from other parties to garner majority. Then in 1998, he sworn in as the prime minister for 13 months until the next election. Finally, in 1999, Vajpayee became the PM for a full term of 5 years until 2004, after which he retired from active politics, owing to health concerns.
Vajpayee was known for his oratorical and organizational skills. He was conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 2015. His birthday was declared as the Good Governance Day in 2014 by the Modi government. He died on August 16th, 2018 due to age related illness.