Atal Bihari Vajpayee turns 89

New Delhi, Dec 25 : Former Prime Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee turned 89 on Wednesday as senior party leaders wished him on the occasion.

Wishing Vajpayee, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi tweeted: "Atal ji's commitment to good governance & serving people will always continue to inspire us."

Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said: "Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee - Happy birthday. We pray for his long life and good health."

Party leader Arun Jaitley greeted the veteran leader and said: "Wishing my revered leader Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee a very Happy Birthday (89th)."

Born in 1924, Vajpayee had served as the 10th Prime Minister of India.

Vajpayee served as the Prime Minister three times - first for a short term of merely 13 days in 1996 and later for two consecutive terms till 2004. In his parliamentarian life of nearly four decades, Vajpayee was elected to Lok Sabha for nine times and twice to Rajya Sabha.

Apart from being known as the liberal face of BJP, he is acclaimed for his oration style and poetry. Several of his speeches are fondly remembered even to this date.

During his running, Vajpayee introduced a number of domestically vital reforms, both economic and infrastructural. Some of them were the encouragement given to the private sector along with increasing scope for foreign investments and motivating research and development.

To his credit also lie the National Highway Development Project, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana which aimed to provide better connectivity of roads and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which he deemed would help in educating the masses.

He has been awarded with various awards and honours, the most prestigious ones being Padma Vibhushan (1992), D.Lit from Kanpur University (1993), Lokmanya Tilak Award (1994), Best Parliamentarian Award (1994), Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant Award (1994).

This great visionary announced his retirement from active politics in December 2005 declaring that he will not participate in the then next general elections.

--IBNS (Posted on 26-12-2013)

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