Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first-ever leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to have become the nation's Prime Minister and led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government from 1998 to 2004.
New Delhi: On the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said on Saturday (December 25) that Vajpayee brought people of different faiths together.
Joshi, who was also his cabinet colleague, said, "Atal Ji kept 22-23 parties together and established India as a nuclear power. Taking 22 parties together, people of different faiths together, removing all differences, he gave a new direction to India's politics." He also said that Vajpayee believed in democratic values.
On the occasion of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's birth anniversary, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday paid floral tribute at 'Sadaiv Atal' Samadhi in the national capital.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and others also paid floral tribute at 'Sadaiv Atal' on occasion.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee's birthday is celebrated as the 'Good Governance Day'. Vajpayee, who led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government from 1998-2004, was the first-ever leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to have become the nation's Prime Minister. He served as Prime Minister thrice — briefly in 1996, and then for two terms between 1998 and 2004.
One of the country's prominent leaders and founder members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vajpayee, died on August 16, 2018, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after a prolonged illness. He was 93.
The late leader was conferred Bharat Ratna in 2015. He was also awarded Pt Govind Ballabh Pant Award for Best Parliamentarian in 1994.