#077 - Was ABV India's Most Underrated PM? | Aashish Chandorkar, Rajeev Mantri
BharatvaartaDecember 26, 202001:56:47106.99 MB

#077 - Was ABV India's Most Underrated PM? | Aashish Chandorkar, Rajeev Mantri

Atal Bihari Vajpayee (25 December 1924 – 16 August 2018) was an Indian  statesman who served three terms as the Prime Minister of India, first  for a term of 13 days in 1996, then for a period of 13 months from 1998  to 1999, followed by a full term from 1999 to 2004. A member of the  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he was the first Indian prime minister not  of the Indian National Congress to serve a full term in office. He was  also noted as a poet and a writer.  He was a member of the Indian Parliament for over five decades, having  been elected ten times to the Lok Sabha, the lower house, and twice to  the Rajya Sabha, the upper house. 

He served as the Member of Parliament  for Lucknow, retiring from active politics in 2009. He was among the  founding members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), of which he was  president from 1968 to 1972. The BJS merged with several other parties  to form the Janata Party, which won the 1977 general election. In March  1977, Vajpayee became the Minister of External Affairs in the cabinet of  Prime Minister Morarji Desai. 

He resigned in 1979, and the Janata  alliance collapsed soon after. Former members of the BJS formed the BJP  in 1980, with Vajpayee its first president.  During his tenure as prime minister, India carried out the Pokhran-II  nuclear tests in 1998. Vajpayee sought to improve diplomatic relations  with Pakistan, travelling to Lahore by bus to meet with Prime Minister  Nawaz Sharif. 

After the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan, he sought to  restore relations through engagement with President Pervez Musharraf,  inviting him to India for a summit at Agra.  The administration of Narendra Modi declared in 2014 that Vajpayee's  birthday, 25 December, would be marked as Good Governance Day. In 2015,  he was conferred India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, by  the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. He died on 16 August 2018 of  age-related illness.