India remembers Atal Bihari Vajpayee - one of the most admired politicians and the 10th prime minister of the country - on his 97th birth anniversary. To mark the day, several events are being organised across the country.
According to a Times of India report, the BJP has planned a motorcycle rally in all 403 assembly seats of Uttar Pradesh. The rally, ‘Atal Yuva Sankalp Yatra’, is themed around ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and comes ahead of the Assembly polls in the state.
Born in 25 December, 1924 in the family of a school teacher in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior, Vajpayee is remembered for his strong speeches, oratory skills, and friendly behaviour. The former prime minister of India was also a poet and a compassionate leader.
One man many names
Atal Bihari Vajpayee had good relations with leaders from all political parties, despite ideological differences. When he was a part of the Opposition for many years, political leaders used to call him ‘right man in the wrong party’. During his tenure as the prime minister of the country, he began to be called ‘Vikas Purush’.
After his retirement from active politics, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was known as ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of politics. People also called him ‘poet-politician’.
A great statesman, Vajpayee served three terms as the prime minister of the country. He served as the PM first for a short period of time in 1996, then from 1998 to 1999 for 13 months, and later a full term from 1999 to 2004.
Some major steps undertaken by Vajpayee
In 1998, under Vajpayee's government, the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme was introduced, which revolutionised bank lending to farmers. In the same year, nuclear tests in May made India a full-fledged nuclear power.
In 1999, he boarded the inaugural bus to Lahore at Amritsar to bring peace between India and Pakistan.
Vajpayee also enabled the formation of three new states - Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand in the year 2000 in a peaceful manner.
The country would remember the poet-politician for the first national telecom policy and several grand infrastructure projects.
As mentioned in Kingshuk Nag's book Atal Bihari Vajpayee: A Man for All Seasons, India's good relations with the United States can also be attributed to the former prime minister.