The unstoppable and eloquent orator, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has finally fallen silent for all times to come. After struggling with health ailments at the AIIMS New Delhi for nine weeks, the 93 year old veteran, termed to as ‘Bhism Pitamah’ of Indian politics, breathed his last today.
As soon as his health condition deteriorated, leaders cutting across party lines, visited AIIMS and offered their wishes. However, the AIIMS bulletin published on August 15, had clearly stated that his condition has worsened and he was on life support system.
Serving as the Prime minister of India first for a term of 13 days in 1996, for a period of eleven months from 1998 to 1999, and then from 1998 to 2004, the man of myriad achievements was conferred the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour in 2014.
In 2014, current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while celebrating the 90th birthday of Vajpayee, had announced that Vajpayee’s birth anniversary (December 25) would be marked as 'Good Governance Day'.
Vajpayee’s involvement in politics began as a freedom fighter during the Quit India Movement in 1942-1945. Here's detail of his political career:
1951 Founder-Member, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (B.J.S)
1957 Elected to the second Lok Sabha
1957-77 Leader, Bharatiya Jana Sangh Parliamentary Party
1962 Member, Rajya Sabha
1966-67 Chairman, Committee on Government Assurances
1967 Re-elected to fourth Lok Sabha (2nd term)
1967-70 Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
1968-73 President, B.J.S.
1971 Re-elected to fifth Lok Sabha (3rd term)
1977 Re-elected to sixth Lok Sabha (4th term)
1977-79 Union Cabinet Minister, External Affairs
1977-80 Founder- Member, Janata Party
1980 Re-elected to seventh Lok Sabha (5th term)
1980-86 President, Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.)
1980-84, 1986 and 1993-96 Leader, B.J.P. Parliamentary Party
1986 Member, Rajya Sabha Member, General Purposes Committee
1988-90 Member, House Committee Member, Business Advisory Committee
1990-91 Chairman, Committee on Petitions
1991 Re-elected to tenth Lok Sabha (6th term)
1991-93 Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
1993-96 Chairman, Committee on External Affairs Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
1996 Re-elected to eleventh Lok Sabha (7th term)
16 May 1996 -31 May 1996 Prime Minister of India; Minister of External Affairs and also incharge of Ministries/Departments of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Coal, Commerce, Communications, Environment and Forests, Food Processing Industries, Human Resource Development, Labour, Mines, Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Planning and Programme Implementation, Power, Railways, Rural Areas and Employment, Science and Technology, Steel, Surface Transport, Textiles, Water Resources,Atomic Energy, Electronics, Jammu & Kashmir Affairs, Ocean Development, Space and other subjects not allocated to any other Cabinet Minister
1996-97 Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
1997-98 Chairman, Committee on External Affairs
1998 Re-elected to twelfth Lok Sabha (8th term)
1998-99 Prime Minister of India; Minister of External Affairs; and also incharge of Ministries/Department not specifically allocated to the charge of any Minister
1999 Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (9th term)
Oct 13, 1999-May 13, 2004 Prime Minister of India and also in charge of the Ministries/Departments not specifically allocated to the charge of any Minister.
Vajpayee, apart from being a politician, was a Hindi poet too. Some of his famous poems are ‘Do Anoobhootiyan’, ‘Doodh Main Darar Pad Gayi’, ‘Kadam Milakar Chalna Hoga’ and ‘Baras Beet Gaya’ among others.