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

PM, Modi greet Vajpayee
    

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was among the first to greet Vajpayee on his birthday. Singh, who reached Vajpayee's 6A Krishna Menon Marg residence around 12:30 pm, remained with the BJP veteran for nearly 20 minutes.
    
Vajpayee's deputy in the NDA Cabinet and senior BJP leader L K Advani also wished the former PM on the occasion. Vajpayee has been ailing for some time now and is confined to his official residence.
    
Several people had been waiting since morning to greet Vajpayee on his birthday. Most of them had come from Gwalior where was born, while some had come from Lucknow, a constituency he represented in the Lok Sabha.
    
BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi also drove down to the BJP veteran's residence to wish him on the occasion.     Besides the Gujarat Chief Minister, Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Vasundhra Raje Scindia and Shivraj Singh Chauhan also greeted Vajpayee.

BJP President Rajnath Singh, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda, former party chief Nitin Gadkari, party leaders Ananth Kumar, Harsh Vardhan and Vijendra Gupta were among the other prominent people who met the former PM.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee: An eminent personality of Indian politics

Vajpayee, an eminent journalist and poet, began his political journey in 1942 when he was arrested during the Quit India movement.

BJP leaders greet Vajpayee on his 89th birthday

Vajpayee, who joined the RSS at an early age, did his MA in Political Science from Kanpur’s DAV College. 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. He became the first president of BJP in 1980.

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

As the Prime Minister, Vajpayee took bold steps by conducting nuclear tests at Pokhran in Rajasthan in 1998.  Then came the time for the Lahore summit where Vajpayee began a push for a full-scale diplomatic peace process with neighbouring Pakistan. Soon after the summit, Pakistan launched Kargil war. Vajpayee handled the crisis situation tactfully.

Retirement

In 2004, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was widely expected to retain power after the general election but lost the election and Congress-led UPA government came to power.

In 2005, Vajpayee announced his retirement. "I will not participate in any electoral politics. From now onwards, Lal Krishna Advani and Pramod Mahajan will be the Ram-Laxman of the BJP," he then said.

The nation still remembers Vajpayee's  contribution to Indian politics on his 89th birthday.

(JPN/Agencies)

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