Vajpayee turns 87, PM calls to wish

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 25, 2011 09:40 hrs
Vajpayee turns 87, PM calls to wish

Former and three times Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee celebrates his tenth 87th birthday on Sunday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader's residence witnessed members of his party visiting him with bouquets to convey their best wishes. Apparently, even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called him to wish on this occasion.

Vajpayee served as the Prime Minister three times - first for a short term of merely 13 days in 1996 and later for two consecutive terms till 2004. In his parliamentarian life of nearly four decades, Vajpayee was elected to Lok Sabha for nine times and twice to Rajya Sabha.

Interestingly, he never married thus, becoming the first and the only bachelor Prime Minister this country had. Apart from being known as the liberal face of BJP, he is acclaimed for his oration style and poetry. Several of his speeches are fondly remembered even to this date.

During his running, Vajpayee introduced a number of domestically vital reforms, both economic and infrastructural. Some of them were the encouragement given to the private sector along with increasing scope for foreign investments and motivating research and development.

To his credit also lie the National Highway Development Project, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana which aimed to provide better connectivity of roads and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which he deemed would help in educating the masses.

He has been awarded with various awards and honours, the most prestigious ones being Padma Vibhushan (1992), D.Lit from Kanpur University (1993), Lokmanya Tilak Award (1994), Best Parliamentarian Award (1994), Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant Award (1994).

This great visionary announced his retirement from active politics in December 2005 declaring that he will not participate in the then next general elections.
However, Vajpayee has always had some serious health concerns. In 90's, he underwent a major knee-replacement surgery at the Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai and then in 2009 he was hospitalized at AIIMS for chest infection and had to be put on a ventilator as his conditioned worsened.

For past so many years, he has been on a single kidney. Even now, reports suggest that he is suffering from certain critical problems.

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