Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday wished former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 92nd birthday. PM Modi, along with BJP president Amit Shah, visited Vajpayee at his residence to wish him in person. Earlier in the day, PM Modi heaped praises on Vajpayee and prayed for his good health. In a series of tweets the prime minister wrote: “Wishing our most beloved & widely respected Atal ji a happy birthday. I pray that he is blessed with good health and a long life. Atal ji’s exemplary service & leadership has had a very positive impact on India’s growth trajectory. His great personality is endearing.”
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He also shared an old video of his meeting with Vajpayee in which the two were locked in a warm embrace. On his 92nd birthday, here is a quick look at former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna awardee Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s life and achievements:
# Born in 1924 in Gwalior in a Brahmin family, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was first exposed to the political sphere during the Quit India movement in 1942. Within five years since then, he became a full-time RSS Pracharak and, due to his oratory skills, he soon became the face of the Jana Sangh (which is today known as the BJP).
# Vajpayee was arrested between 1975 to 1977 during the Emergency imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In 1977, Vajpayee became the external affairs minister in former PM Moraji Desai’s Cabinet. Even in those days, he was the party’s star speaker.
# Vajpayee first became prime minister in 1996. He was in office for 13 days and was forced to resign after failing to muster support from other parties. He took the post after fresh elections by forming NDA.
# He was conferred the Bharat Ratna on March 19, 1998 in New Delhi.
# By 2004, Vajpayee, a three-time Prime Minister, became the first non-Congress leader to serve a full five-year term. He is also the first foreign minister to deliver a speech in the UN Assembly in Hindi.