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Vajpayee rejected idea to become President, was given unfinished task by ex-PM, reveals his media advisor

Ashok Tandon was media relations in-charge in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's PMO from 1998-2004. He made these revelations in his new book 'The Reverse Swing: Colonialism to Cooperation'.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: October 21, 2023 16:23 IST
Atal Bihar Vajpayee
Image Source : FILE PHOTO, INDIA TV Atal Bihari Vajpayee's adviser reveals interesting facts about the former PM in his new book titled 'The Reverse Swing: Colonialism to Cooperation'.

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had turned down suggestions to become President in 2002 and was given a 'chit' which mentioned completing the 'unfinished task' by his predecessor, revealed his media advisor Ashok Tandon in new book 'The Reverse Swing: Colonialism to Cooperation'.

According to Ashok Tandon's new book, in 2002, Vajpayee turned down suggestions from his team to step down from his post, pass the baton to LK Advani and become the President.

The then Prime Minister told his colleagues that a sitting PM becoming the President would "set a very dangerous precedent" and will not go down well in a Parliamentary democracy like India.

Ashok Tandon was media relations in-charge in Atal Bihari Vajpayee's PMO from 1998-2004.

Vajpayee was given 'unfinished task' by ex-PM, reveals his advisor

Another revelation that Ashok Tandon talked about in his book was that ex-PM Narasimha Rao handed over a chit to Atal Bihari Vajpayee after he became the Prime Minister in 1996 which mentioned about "unfinished task" (nuclear test) to be accomplished.

"After Vajpayee’s appointment as prime minister, Rao quietly passed on a chit to Vajpayee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan swearing-in ceremony. It was a hint to accomplish the unfinished task. The task Narasimha Rao had failed to accomplish during his premiership was nothing other than nuclear tests at Pokhran in the Rajasthan desert."

Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister for the first time in 1996 but his government fell in just 13 days, however, he again became the PM in 1998 and maintained the post till 2004.

Vajpayee failed to conduct the nuclear tests in 1996 but went ahead in 1998 in Rajasthan's Pokhran. 

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched Tandon's book

Ashok Tandon's 'The Reverse Swing: Colonialism to Cooperation' was released by Union Minister for Petroleum-Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri, in an event organised in Delhi on October 18.

Ashok Tandon has mentioned many other interesting incidents in this book and explained them in detail. He has tried to show the glory of the new India, leaving behind the painful memories of centuries of slavery.

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