Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 97th birth anniversary today, praised the former prime minister for devoting his life towards making India strong and developed. “His development initiatives positively impacted millions of Indians,” PM Modi said on Twitter.
“Remembering Atal Ji on his Jayanti. We are inspired by his rich service to the nation. He devoted his life towards making India strong and developed. His development initiatives positively impacted millions of Indians,” he tweeted.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday is celebrated as the ‘Good Governance Day’.
Born on December 25, 1924, as the first-ever leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to have become the nation’s Prime Minister. He served as Prime Minister thrice — briefly in 1996, and then for two terms between 1998 and 2004.
He was also known for his oratory skills, which was on display when he defended the nuclear tests in Pokhran in 1998. “It is surprising that people are criticising the nuclear tests. When in 1974 then prime minister Indira Gandhi had carried out the tests, we welcomed it even while we were in the opposition. Was there any threat to the nation at the time,” he said in parliament.
One of the prominent leaders of the country and founder members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vajpayee died on August 16, 2018, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after a prolonged illness. He was 93.
The Modi government is working on several public welfare schemes named after the former prime minister. The Union Cabinet has approved the Atal Bhujal Yojana, a ₹ 6,000 crore scheme to improve groundwater management. The government also named a strategic tunnel under Rohtang Pass after him.
The former Prime Minister was given the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award in 2015 months after NDA came to power. He had also been awarded Pt Govind Ballabh Pant Award for Best Parliamentarian in 1994.