Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee passes away at 93

Atal Bihari Vajpayee is an Indian politician who thrice served as the Prime Minister of India, first for a term of 13 days in 1996, for a period of eleven months from 1998 to 1999, and then for a full term from 1999 to 2004.

He was a member of the Indian Parliament for over four decades, being elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower house, ten times, and twice to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house. He served as the Member of Parliament for Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh until 2009 when he retired from active politics due to health concerns. Vajpayee was among the founding members of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh which he also headed from 1968 to 1972. He was the Minister of External Affairs in the cabinet of Prime Minister Morarji Desai.

When the Janata government collapsed, Vajpayee restructured the Jana Sangh into the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980. He was the first Indian prime minister not belonging to the Indian National Congress to serve a full five-year term.

He was conferred India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, by the President of India in 2014. It was declared by the Modi government in 2014 that Vajpayee’s birthday, 25 December, would be marked as Good Governance Day.

Personal life

Vajpayee remained unmarried. He adopted Namita Bhattacharya, the daughter of BN Kaul and Rajkumari Kaul.

He was fond of Indian music and dance. He loved nature and one of his favourite retreats was Manali in Himachal Pradesh.

He was a published poet, and with regard to his poetry he wrote, “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.”


  • 1992, Padma Vibhushan
  • 1993, D. Lit. from Kanpur University
  • 1994, Lokmanya Tilak Award
  • 1994, Outstanding Parliamentarian Award
  • 1994, Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant Award
  • 2015, Bharat Ratna
  • 2015, Bangladesh Liberation War honour (Bangladesh Muktijuddho Sanmanona)

Atal Bihari Vajpayee awards

Positions held

  • 1951 – Founder-Member, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (B.J.S)
  • 1957 – Elected to 2nd Lok Sabha ( 1st term )
  • 1957–77 – Leader, Bharatiya Jana Sangh Parliamentary Party
  • 1962 – Member, Rajya Sabha
  • 1966-67- Chairman, Committee on Government Assurances
  • 1967 – Re-elected to 4th Lok Sabha (2nd term)
  • 1967–70 – Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
  • 1968–73 – President, B.J.S.
  • 1971 – Re-elected to 5th Lok Sabha (3rd term)
  • 1977 – Re-elected to 6th Lok Sabha (4th term)
  • 1977–79 – Union Cabinet Minister, External Affairs
  • 1977–80 – Founder- Member, Janata Party
  • 1980 – Re-elected to 7th Lok Sabha (5th term)
  • 1980-86- President, Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.)
  • 1980-84, 1986 and 1993–96 – Leader, B.J.P. Parliamentary Party
  • 1986 – Member, Rajya Sabha; Member, General Purposes Committee
  • 1988–90 – Member, House Committee; Member, Business Advisory Committee
  • 1990-91- Chairman, Committee on Petitions
  • 1991– Re-elected to 10th Lok Sabha (6th term)
  • 1991–93 – Chairman, Public Accounts Committee
  • 1993–96 – Chairman, Committee on External Affairs; Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
  • 1996 – Re-elected to 11th Lok Sabha (7th term)
  • 16 May 1996 – 31 May 1996 – Prime Minister of India
  • 1996–97 – Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
  • 1997–98 – Chairman, Committee on External Affairs
  • 1998 – Re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha (8th term)
  • 1998–99 – Prime Minister of India; Minister of External Affairs; and also in charge of Ministries/Department not specifically allocated to the charge of any Minister
  • 1999 – Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (9th term)
  • 13 Oct.1999 to 13 May 2004– Prime Minister of India and also in charge of the Ministries/Departments not specifically allocated to the charge of any Minister
  • 2004 – Re-elected to 14th Lok Sabha (10th term)


Social and political

  • National Integration (1961)
  • Dynamics of an Open Society (1977)
  • New Dimensions of India’s Foreign Policy (1979)
  • Heal the Wounds: Vajpayee’s appeal on Assam tragedy to the Parliament (1983)
  • Kucha Lekha, Kucha Bhashana (1996)
  • Sekyularavada: Bharatiya Parikalpana (Da. Rajendra Prasada Smaraka Vyakhyanamala) (1996)
  • Bindu-Bindu Vicara (1997)
  • Rajaniti ki Rapatili Rahem (1997)
  • Back to Square One (1998)
  • Decisive Days (1999)
  • Sakti Se Santi (1999)
  • Vicara-Bindu (Hindi Edition, 2000)
  • Nayi Chunauti, Naya Avasara (Hindi Edition, 2002)
  • India’s Perspectives on ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Region (2003)


  • India’s Foreign Policy: New Dimensions (1977)
  • Assam Problem: Repression no Solution (1981)
  • Atal Bihari Vaj Mem Tina Dasaka (1992)
  • Pradhan Mantri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ke Chune Hue Bhashana (2000)
  • Values, Vision & Verses of Vajpayee: India’s Man of Destiny (2001)
  • National Integration (1961)
  • Dynamics of an Open Society (1977)
  • Kucha Lekha, Kucha Bhashana (1996)
  • Sekyularavada: Bharatiya Parikalpana (Da. Rajendra Prasada Smaraka Vyakhyanamala) (1996)
  • Rajaniti ki Rapatili Rahem (1997)
  • Back to Square One (1998)
  • Decisive Days (1999)
  • Sakti Se Santi (1999)
  • India’s Perspectives on ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Region (2003)


  • Meri Ikyavana Kavitaem (1995)
  • Meri Ikyavana Kavitaem (Hindi Edition, 1995)
  • Sreshtha Kabita (1997)
  • Nayi Disha – An Album with Jagjit Singh (1995)
  • Kya Khoya Kya Paya: Atal Bihari Vajapeyi, Vyaktitva Aur Kavitaem (Hindi Edition, 1999)
  • Samvedna – An Album with Jagjit Singh (1995)
  • Twenty-One Poems (2003)


  • Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, selected speeches. (2000). ISBN 978-81-230-0834-9.
  • President’s addresses, 1980–1986. (2000).
  • Presidential address. (1986).
  • Presidential address: Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha session, Bhagalpur (Bihar), 5 6 & 7 May 1972. (1972).
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pokhran
Atal Bihari Vajpayee speeches & quotes

Atal Bihari Vajpayee quotes

You can change friends but not neighbours.

We hope the world will act in the spirit of enlightened self-interest.

Global interdependence today means that economic disasters in developing countries could create a backlash on developed countries.

Our nuclear weapons are meant purely as a deterrent against nuclear adventure by an adversary.

No state should be allowed to profess partnership with the global coalition against terror, while continuing to aid, abet and sponsor terrorism.


The 93-year-old was admitted on June 11 due to kidney tract infection, chest congestion, and low urine output. His condition has been declining rapidly. He had suffered a stroke in 2009 that weakened his cognitive abilities. Subsequently, he developed dementia.
Last evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited AIIMS to meet the ailing former political leader. Just hours after the PM’s visit, the medical institute released the statement declaring that his condition is critical.

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