Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the man on whose shoulders BJP now stands, breathes his last
A parliamentarian for over four decades, 93-year-old Atal Bihari Vajpayee breathed his last on August 16 at AIIMS in the national capital. The tall BJP leader is credited to lifting the hopes of the now powerful Bharatiya Janata Party back in 1998 when he became the first non-Indian National Congress Prime Minister to serve a full five-year term. It was in 2009 that he retired from active politics, owing to bad health conditions. Until his death on Thursday evening, Vajpayee was the oldest living former Indian PM.
Vajpayee, the 10th Prime Minister Of India, served his first term for just 15 days in 1996 and later went on to hold the country’s top political position from 1998 to 2004.
He was an elected member of the Lok Sabha ten times and served as a member of parliament in Rajya Sabha twice. During his expansive political career, Vajpayee has served as the nation’s Minister of External Affairs in the Morarji Desai government.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the recipient of India's highest civilian honour, Bharat Ratna award. The award was announced on December 25, 2014 by the office of the President of India and handed over to him at his residence on March 27, 2015. His birthday, December 25, was declared ‘Good Governance Day’.