Vajpayee turns 88

NEW DELHI, Dec 25:
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and BJP veteran L K Advani were among a host of leaders to greet former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who turned 88 today.
Singh drove to Vajpayee’s 6A, Krishna Menon Marg, residence here and spent about 15 minutes with his predecessor who has been ailing for quite some time and confined to his home.
President Pranab Mukherjee sent his best wishes to Vajpayee along with a bouquet of flowers.
Besides Singh, Advani, BJP President Nitin Gadkari, BJP leaders Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda were among Vajpayee’s early visitors to greet him.
“He received us with a smile,” BJP chief spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after greeting Vajpayee.
Born in the family of a humble school teacher on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior, Vajpayee began his career first as a poet, dabbled in journalism and later rose to become one of the most widely regarded political leaders of the country.
During his six-year tenure as Prime Minister between 1998 and 2004, Vajpayee took the bold step of conducting the nuclear tests at Pokhran in May 1998. He is also considered a guru of coalition politics, who successfully led a Government supported by as many as 24 political parties.
Among the BJP leaders who greeted him were Rajnath Singh, Shahnawaz Hussain, Kalraj Mishra, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Vijay Goel and Ananth Kumar.
“Vajpayee is a role model for the whole country for good governance. He is also known as guru of coalition politics. He led the nation on the path of progress,” Ananth Kumar said.
“We all wished him very good health and long life. So that he continues to be an inspiration for all of us,” he said.
On the occasion, BJP leaders also distributed blankets to the poor. (PTI)

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