Former prime minister and Bharatiya Janata Paty (BJP) stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee, surrounded by closed ones and top national leaders, passed away at AIIMS hospital in New Delhi on Thursday following multiple organs failure.
Here are 10 things you should know about Atal Bihari Vajpayee:
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. He studied with his father in the same class and lived in the same hostel.
- Vajpayee was jailed for a short period for raising his voice against the British Colonial rule. He started out as a communist but shifted to support the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Jan Sangh as a teenager. He left law school to work for an RSS magazine in the early 50s. His RSS roots were crucial for his massive role in the BJP.
- His political career began when he was a freedom fighter during the Quit India Movement of 1942-45.
- Vajpayee became an ardent student of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, the founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS)
- Following Mookerjee’s death, Vajpayee took the baton and won his first election in 1957.
- Vajpayee served the Lok Sabha for 10 terms from 1957 to 2009.
- He became the first person outside the Congress to have served the complete five-year term.
- Vajpayee became the prime minister in 1996, but lasted only 13 days due to lack of numbers.
- Vajpayee became a household name when he served the nation as external affairs minister under Morarji Desai’s government.
- Vajpayee was also an excellent poet and the BJP still uses his writings.