Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Sunday wished former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 88th birthday.
BJP leaders Prakash Javadekar, Yashwant Sinha and Nitin Gadkari were among the first few people, who paid a visit to their leader.
BJP leaders Prakash Javadekar said that the ailing leader would ever remain a source of inspiration for them.
"Atal Bihar Vajpayee is receiving birthday wishes from all over the country. Everybody is wishing him good health. Atalji is the senior most leader of Bharatiya Janata Party and will always remain our inspiration," he told the media outside Vajpayee’s residence.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari said that Vajpayee’s birthday was being celebrated as a good governance day, as the nation still remembered his apt policies and decisions.
"We have decided to celebrate Atalji birthday as good governance day because the entire nation still remembers his governance policies when he was the prime minister during NDA’s (National Democratic Alliance) regime. I will pray to god to bless him with a long life," he said.
Regarded as one of the pillars of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Vajpayee has been a stalwart in the Indian political arena for over six decades.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee served as the tenth Prime Minister of India three times – first for a brief term of 13 days in 1996, and then for two terms from 1998 to 2004.
After his first brief period as Prime Minister in 1996, Vajpayee headed a coalition government from 19 March 1998 until 19 May 2004. A parliamentarian for over four decades, Vajpayee was elected to the Lok Sabha a record nine times, and to the Rajya Sabha twice.
He served as the Member of Parliament for Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, until 2009, when he retired from active politics due to health concerns. He is a gifted orator and also a poet.
Vajpayee began his political career with the RSS, the ideological fountainhead of the BJP.
Born into an upper-caste family on December 25, 1924, Vajpayee was detained by police during a protest against British rule in 1942 and during emergency rule imposed by late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the 1970s.
A bachelor with two adopted daughters, he was elected to Parliament for the first time in 1957.
In May 1998, he stunned the world by announcing that India had broken a 24-year self-imposed moratorium by conducting underground nuclear tests. (ANI)