Atal Behari Vajpayee

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee
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Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Date of Birth: December 25, 1924
Place of Birth: Gwalior, MP
Prime Minister of India
Tenure Order: 10th Prime Minister
Political party: BJP
First Term
Took Office: May 16, 1996
Left Office: June 1, 1996
Predecessor: Narasimha Rao
Successor: Deve Gowda
Second Term
Took Office: March 19, 1998
Left Office: May 22, 2004
Predecessor: I. K. Gujral
Successor: Dr. Manmohan Singh

Atal Bihari Vajpayee (often wrongly spelt Behari; अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी in Devnagari) (born December 25, 1924) was the Prime Minister of India in 1996 and again from 1998 until May 19, 2004.

Vajpayee is a native of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh state and has been active in Indian politics throughout his adult life.

He was one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, a party linked to the Hindu organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), of which he was the president between 1968 and 1973. He was first elected to the Parliament of India in 1957 and was the leader of the Jana Sangh political party up to the formation of the Janata Party in 1977. He served as the Foreign Minister in the government of Morarji Desai from March 1977 to July 1979. In 1980, he left the Janata Party,and helped form the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was leader of the BJP parliamentary party between 1980 and 1984, 1986 and between 1993 and 1996. He was the leader of the Opposition in the 11th Lok Sabha.

First Tenure

Even though it lacked the majority the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), headed by Vajpayee, emerged as the single largest party in Lok Sabha elections of 1996. President of India invited BJP to form the government and to prove its majority within 14 days. Thus, Vajpayee became the Prime Minister for the first time. The BJP government was unable to prove its majority and lasted only for 13 days.

Second Tenure

He became Prime Minister for the second time in 1998, but that government only lasted for 13 months, since the AIADMK withdrew support to the government. Then the polls for the 13th Lok Sabha were held, in which he was re-elected on October 13, 1999, at the head of a coalition government controlled by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), of which the BJP was a major component. NDA controlled a majority of 303 Members of the Indian Parliament, in a house of 545 members.

His prime ministership saw a lot of action. On December 241999, Indian Airlines Flight IC 814 was hijacked, with nearly 200 passengers and crew, while on a flight from Kathmandu to Delhi.

Under his leadership, India steadly recorded great economic growth at 7-8%. Under his prime ministership, India gradually broke away with socialism and embraced capitalism and free market economy. In 2004, Vajpayee made peace overtures to Pakistan in hopes of settling their long-running dispute over Kashmir. He called an early election in hopes of winning another term but was defeated and resigned as both prime minister and party leader on May 12, 2004.

He is well-known for being a poet, and has published a book of poetry. He is a bachelor, and has an adopted daughter.

When in office he ordered a series of two days of underground nuclear testing in the desert regions of Rajasthan (a northwestern state of India that borders Pakistan, India's arch rival).

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Vajpayee with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Vajpayee made peace overtures to Pakistan and attempted to resolve the Kashmir dispute.

Life after Elections 2004

After the NDA lost the elections in 2004, he refused the post of Leader of the Opposition and was instead elected leader of the NDA. Lal Krishna Advani, his deputy when he was Prime Minister was elected leader of the opposition.

Vajpayee has frequently threatned to resign from politics (Sanyas) and there is great speculation in the media about whether he actually intends to carry out the threat. This speculation has intensified in the recent weeks with the public announcement by the RSS that they would like to see a younger generation head the BJP.

During the last few years Vajpayee has been dogged by problems with his knee and underwent knee replacement surgery for the same.

Preceded by:
P. V. Narasimha Rao
Prime Minister of India
Succeeded by:
H. D. Deve Gowda
Preceded by:
Inder Kumar Gujral
Prime Minister of India
Succeeded by:
Manmohan Singh

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Template:Prime Ministers of Indiade:Atal Bihari Vajpayee fr:Atal Bihari Vajpayee hi:अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी pt:Atal Behari Vajpayee ru:Ваджпаи, Атал Бихари sa:अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी sv:Atal Behari Vajpayee


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