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Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, 93, died in  AIIMS on Thursday. Photo: PTI
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, 93, died in AIIMS on Thursday. Photo: PTI

Vajpayee’s journey, from poetry to politics

A parliamentarian for 47 years, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was an accomplished writer, penning several books and poems during his lifetime

New Delhi: The son of a school teacher, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on 25 December 1924 in Gwalior.

■ As an 18-year-old, he joined the Quit India Movement in 1942.

■ In 1951, he joined the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS).

■ He was an accomplished writer, penning several books and poems during his lifetime.

■ Vajpayee was a journalist before being appointed as the political secretary of Shayma Prasad Mookerjee.

■ He entered the Lok Sabha in 1957 after winning the Balrampur seat in UP.

■ Vajpayee remained a member of parliament for 47 years. He was elected 11 times to the Lok Sabha, and twice as a Rajya Sabha member.

■ In 1977, he became the external affairs minister in the Janata Party government.

■ Vajpayee was instrumental in forming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1980.

■ His first term as prime minister in 1996 lasted just 13 days. Two years later, in 1998 he headed the government for 13 months, and then for a full five-year term from 1999.

■ Under him, India successfully carried out the nuclear test, or Operation Shakti, in Pokhran on 13 May, 1998.

■ He started the Delhi-Lahore bus service, Sada-e-Sarhad (Call of the Frontier).

■ The Kargil War with Pakistan broke out during May-July 1999 with Vajpayee as the PM.

■ In 2004, the NDA lost in the general elections and he resigned as the prime minister.

■ Vajpayee announced his retirement from politics at the end of 2005.

■ In 2014, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna. He was also a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan.

Also read: The last photograph of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

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