New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday turned 88. PM and several leaders wished Vajpayee on his 88th birthday. Singh drove down to Vajpayee's 6A, Krishna Menon Marg residence and spent about 15 minutes with the veteran leader. President Pranab Mukherjee also sent Vajpayee a bouquet of flowers.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari, senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda were among Vajpayee's early visitors. "He received us with a smile," BJP chief spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after greeting Vajpayee.

Vajpayee was born on 25th December, 1924 in Gwalior. His father was a teacher in Gwalior. He learnt writing skill from his father who was eminent poet of Braj and Hindi.

Vajpayee joined the RSS in the early age. Later, he did his MA in Political Science from DAV College, Kanpur. He edited Panchjanya, Rashtra Dharma, Dainik Swadesh and Vir Arjun. He is one of the founder members of Jan Sangh.  He was the president of Jan Sangh from 1968 to 1973.

Vajpayee unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha election in 1955. He won the Lok Sabha election for the first time in 1957 from Balrampur as Jan Sangh candidate.

After Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, Vajpayee was the longest serving PM of India as non-congress candidate. He was the first Indian PM to address the UN in Hindi.

As the Prime Minister, Vajpayee took bold step by conducting nuclear tests at Pokhran in Rajasthan in 1998. The US was unaware of it.

Among the BJP leaders who greeted him were Rajnath Singh, Shahnawaz Hussain, Kalraj Mishra, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Vijay Goel and Ananth Kumar.
"Vajpayee is a role model for the whole country for good governance. He is also known as guru of coalition politics. He led the nation on the path of progress," Kumar said.
"We all wished him very good health and long life. So that he continues to be an inspiration for all of us," he said. On the occasion, BJP leaders also distributed blankets to the poor.


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