Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Political life In Pictures…

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Political life In Pictures…

The three-time Prime Minister Vajpayee, the sixth child among seven brothers and sisters in the family, was born to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee on 25 December 1924 in a middle-class Brahmin family in Gwalior’s Kamal Singh ka Bagh area under Shinde ki Chhawni locality. (Image: Reuters)

In 1974, he joined Jai Prakash Narayan’s call for ‘total revolution’ and in 1975 went to jail during the Emergency. In this photo, Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen gesturing to the photographers. (Image: BJP India)
After the fall of the Janata Government and the return on Indira Gandhi in 1980, Vajpayee and LK Advani chose to disband the erstwhile Jana Sangh and, in its place, form a new political outfit called the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Atal Bihari Vajpayee with other Jana Sangh leaders. (Image: BJP India)
In 1968, after the mysterious death of Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Vajpayee became the President of the Bhartiya Jana Sangh. In this photo, Atal Bihari Vajpayee is seen delivering a speech. (Image: BJP India)
Few would know that Vajpayee also loved hockey in his youth and played the game at Phoolbagh maidan which was close to his home in Gwalior. (Image: Reuters)
However, despite the loss, Vajpayee’s fondness for the fort city could never cease to exist. (Image: Reuters)
However after initially flirting with communism, Vajpayee already had developed the inkling for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the 1940s, so after completing his education he appeared before the Maharaja pleading him to waive his three-year service condition so that he could make a make a full-time career in politics and the benevolent Maharaja did not disappoint the young nationalist poet. (Image: Reuters)
Vajpayee stayed in Gwalior till he completed his graduation from Victoria College and moved to Kanpur for pursuing post graduation. It was then the Maharaja of Gwalior Jivaji Rao Scindia offered him a scholarship of Rs 75 a month (a handsome amount then) on the condition that he would remain in his service for three after completing his education. (Image: Reuters)
Atal Bihari Vajpayee loved poetry since childhood and started taking part in poetic convention at an early age. (Image: Reuters)
However, the destiny took a complete circle around four decades later when Vajpayee whom the Scindias patronised and boasted of as their proud creation took on Scindia family scion Madhav Rao Scindia in 1984. (Image: Reuters)
His grandfather, Pandit Shyam Lal Vajpayee, had migrated to Morena from his ancestral village of Bateshwar in Uttar Pradesh. Many contests that Vajpayee was born in Bateshwar but primarily it is believed that he was born when his family had switched base to Gwalior on the invitation of Scindias who wanted his schoolteacher father to settle in their kingdom. (Image: Reuters)
A prominent exponent of Hindi language, Vajpayee had received praises after he delivered his historical Hindi speech at the United Nations. Locals also paid a tribute this key figure in Indian politics by building a temple of him in the past at a hillock and hold functions on his birthday. (Image: Reuters)
Decades after Vajpayee attained matchless fame in Indian politics, he still remained an approachable friend for many in Gwalior. (Image: Reuters)
In addition to being a politician and a diplomat, Vajpayee was known for his poetry. Political adversaries and allies alike often praised Vajpayee for his magnanimity and the ability to reach out across the aisle to opponents. (Image: Reuters)
A national political figure by that time, Vajpayee despite having Scindia’s mother and the then BJP vice-president Vijaya Raje Scindia by his side and his national stature fought tooth and nail against a spirited Scindia and lost by over two lakh votes, a rare blemish on his illustrious political career. (Image: Reuters)
The testament to Vajpayee’s stature was former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech in the Rajya Sabha, in which he referred to Vajpayee as the ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of Indian politics. (Image: Reuters)
In December 2005, Vajpayee announced his retirement from active politics and handed over the reins of the party to LK Advani and Pramod Mahajan. (Image: Reuters)
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on December 25, 1924, into a middle-class family in Gwalior to Krishna Bihari Vajpayee- a school teacher and poet and Krishna Devi. He graduated from Victoria College with distinction in Hindi, English, and Sanskrit and earned his M.A. in Political science from DAV College, Kanpur. (Pictured – Vajpayee along with former Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen in 2002 during an official three-day visit to Cambodia. (Image: Reuters)
His involvement in politics began as a freedom-fighter during the Quit India Movement in 1942-1945. He and his elder brother Prem were remanded for 23 days during that time and were released after submitting a written undertaking, stating that they would not participate in the anti-British struggle, a promise that the brothers kept. (Pictured – Vajpayee along with then Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray at an election campaign rally in Mumbai, 2004. Image: Reuters)
Vajpayee managed to lead a stable government in 1999 after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won the general elections. He is the first and currently the only non-Congress prime minister to have successfully completed a full term in office. (Pictured – He is seen here inspecting the guard of honour on his arrival in Moscow in 2003. Image: Reuters)
Under the Vajpayee government, India conducted its second round of nuclear tests in 1998 at Pokhran, heralding its arrival on the international front as a nuclear power. (Pictured – He is seen here inspecting a gift in Beijing in 2003. Image: Reuters)
The Vajpayee government was known for carrying out a full-scale diplomatic peace process with Pakistan through late 1998 and early 1999. This was kick-started with the inauguration of the Delhi-Lahore bus service in February 1999. (Pictured – He is seen here being greeted by a Chinese girl and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a welcoming ceremony in 2003. Image: Reuters)
A celebrated orator and poet, Vajpayee once said, “My poetry is a declaration of war, not an exordium to defeat. It is not the defeated soldier’s drumbeat of despair, but the fighting warrior’s will to win. It is not the despirited voice of dejection but the stirring shout of victory.” (Pictured – Vajpayee is seen here at the afternoon session of the 114-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Kuala Lumpur of 2003. Image: Reuters)
As his influence grew within the party due to his excellent oratory skills, Vajpayee became the Minister of External Affairs in Prime Minister Morarji Desai’s government. He later played a quintessential role in the formation of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and became the first party president in 1980. (Pictured – Vajpayee along with Lal Krishan Advani in 1997. Image: Reuters)
The Vajpayee government was successful in recapturing Kargil from militants and non-uniformed Pakistani soldiers in harsh weather conditions and heavy artillery firing in 1999. “Operation Vijay” was successful in fending off invasions from thousands of enemies. The moment was celebrated as “Kargil Vijay Diwas” in 2012. (Pictured – Vajpayee is seen talking to reporters at the Indian Presidential palace in New Delhi in 1996. Image: Reuters)
Vajpayee continued to lead the BJP through a string of defeats for more than a decade before finally winning the 1996 general elections to become India’s 10th Prime Minister. After being unable to secure a coalition majority, Vajpayee resigned after 13 days. (Pictured – Vajpayee is seen here speaking to the press at New Delhi’s Presidential palace, after submitting his resignation in 1996. (Image: Reuters)