Today is the third death anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader served as the Prime Minister of India thrice -- 1996, 1998-99 and from 1999-2004.
From being an orator to being a poet, Vajpayee stretched out his horizons as wide as he could. Known as 'the man of the masses', Vajpayee was a man of "multi-faceted personality".
"Bharat Ratna Revered Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji's life's every moment was dedicated to taking India to the summit of supreme glory. Indian politics has been blessed to have a multi-faceted personality like Atal Ji. His values and ideals based life is a priceless heritage for crores of us workers," Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.
- After Jawahar Lal Nehru, Vajpayee was the second Prime Minister to have become Prime Minister of India with two successive mandates. He first took charge in 1996 for a brief period of 13 days, and later in 1998 for no longer than 13 months. However, he finally served office for the full term from 1999 to 2004. He was a senior BJP leader as well as one of the co-founders of the party.
- Born on December 25, 1924, Vajpayee hailed from MP's Gwalior city. He is the recipient of Padma Vibhushan as well as of India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.
- Vajpayee served the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, for 10 terms that began in 1957 and concluded in 2009. He was the first head of government from outside the Congress party to serve a full five-year term.
- An orator par excellence, Vajpayee had earned much fame as India's external affairs minister in Prime Minister Morarji Desai's government during which he delivered a widely acclaimed speech to the United Nations General Assembly in Hindi.
- He was not just a politician but took an active interest in poetry as well. In 1999, he collaborated with veteran Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh and released an album named 'Nayi Disha', where Vajpayee narrated his poems and Singh sang them.