Nation today celebrates the 95th birth anniversary of the stalwart leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
On October 13, 1999, he took charge as Prime Minister of India for the second consecutive term at the head of a new coalition government, the National Democratic Alliance. He was Prime Minister for a short period in 1996. He is the first Prime Minister since Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to have become Prime Minister of India with two successive mandates.
Vajpayee was indeed an active participant in shaping India’s post -Independence domestic and foreign policy. He believed in a forward-looking, forward moving India, a strong and prosperous nation confident of its rightful place in the comity of nations.
India’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.’ The citation read: “True to his name, Atalji is an eminent national leader, an erudite politician, a selfless social worker, forceful orator, poet and litterateur, journalist and indeed a multi-faceted personality..Atalji articulates the aspirations of the masses.. his works ever echo total commitment to nationalism.
In 2015, he was conferred India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, by the then President Pranab Mukherjee.
After the Narendra Modi-led BJP government came into power in 2014, it was declared that December 25th would be marked as Good Governance Day.
Vajpayee was a beloved leader of the people irrespective of religion, caste, creed or politics. However, nation lost this epitome personality on 16 August 2018.