Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee – A prime minister who has made India a prosperous country

“Global interdependence today means that economic disasters in developing countries could create a backlash on developed countries”. – Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Image Credit: ndtv. com

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, an Indian politician, served as the 10th Prime Minister of India.  Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on 25 December 1924 in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh to a middle-class Brahmin family of Shri Krishna Bihari Vajpayee and Smt. Krishna Devi. Pandit Shyam Lal Vajpayee, the grandfather of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had migrated to Gwalior from their ancestral village Bateshwar in Uttar Pradesh. His father was a school master and a poet. Atal Bihar Vajpayee completed his schooling from Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Gorkhi in Gwalior. He completed his graduation in Hindi, Sanskrit and English from Victoria College in Gwalior, now known as Laxmi Bai College. Thereafter, he studied in DAV College, Kanpur and completed his M.A. in Political Science with a first-class degree. In 1957, he was elected as a member of the 2nd Lok Sabha.From 1957 to 1977, he was the Leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in the Parliament.In 1962, he became a member of the Rajya Sabha.From 1966 to 1967, he was the Chairman of the Committee on Government Assurances.In 1967, he was elected as a member of the 4th Lok Sabha for the second term.From 1998 to 1999, he served as the Prime Minister of India for the second time. He was also the External Affairs Minister and in charge of ministries and departments that were not specifically allotted to any minister. In 1999, he was elected as a member of the 13th Lok Sabha for the ninth term. From 13 October 1999 to 13 May 2004, he served as the Prime Minister of India for the third time. He was also in charge of the ministries and departments that were not specifically allotted to any minister. Vajpayee announced his retirement from politics at the end of 2005. In late December 2014 he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.

Major contribution to India

Nuclear tests conducted in 1998 during his reign unambiguously established India as a nuclear state and the country was able to develop a minimum credible deterrent to ward off threats to its security.During the last several years the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People’s Party, or BJP) has emerged as the dominant power in domestic politics. One of its key platform issues has been its desire to make India an openly declared nuclear power. The BJP created a short-lived government for 13 days in May 1996, and it is now known that Vajpayee actually authorized nuclear tests at that time, and the devices got as far as being placed in the test shafts, before he called them off when it became evident that his government was unlikely to survive long enough to deal with the aftermath.

The National Highways Develop Project (NHDP) and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) were two projects that were very close to his heart. NHDP involves connecting the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. PMGSY is a nationwide plan to provide good all-weather road connectivity to unconnected villages.This project is managed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways. The NHAI has invested US$71 billion for this project, as of 2006. The NHDP represents 49,260 km of roads and highways work and construction in order to boost economic development of the country.

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