Remembering Atal Bihari Vajpayee: Lesser-known facts about India's 'Best Parliamentarian'

The 96th anniversary of the birth of Atal Bihari Vajpayee-an Indian politician, statesman and poet who spent three terms as prime minister-will be celebrated on December 25.

Here are some lesser-known facts about India's 'Best Parliamentarian'.

  • Born on December 25, 1924, in Madhya Pradesh Gwalior, Vajpayee was an influential member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He was one of the founder members of the Jana Sangh Bharatiya.

  • During the Quit India Movement of 1942, which hastened the end of British colonial rule, he became involved in national politics.

  • Vajpayee was one of the politicians who had been imprisoned during the emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975.

  • In 1996 (for a brief time) and 1999, he was Prime Minister of the world. He is the first Prime Minister since Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to become Prime Minister of India with two consecutive terms of office.

  • Known for his articulate oral skills, he was a member of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, representing Lucknow from the Lower House from 1991 to 2009.

  • He was elected nine times to the Lok Sabha and two times to the Rajya Sabha. He was named India's 'Best Parliamentarian' in 1994.

  • He was awarded the highest civil honour of the world, Bharat Ratna in 2015 and the second highest civil honour, Padma Vibhushan in 1994.

  • Apart from politics, Vajpayee was a famous writer and has authored a number of poems.

  • Since resigning as prime minister in 2004, BJP Stalwart withdrew from active politics due to his ill health.

  • The veteran BJP chief died on August 16, 2018 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi after a prolonged illness.

  • December 25 is observed as the 'Good Governance Day' in honour of Vajpayee.

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