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Vajpayee death anniversary: President Kovind, PM Modi pay tributes to BJP stalwart

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Aug 14: The nation on Friday paid tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his first death anniversary at his memorial, Sadaiv Atal, in Delhi.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national working president JP Nadda and other party colleagues paid tributes to Vajpayee at his memorial.

Vajpayee's daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya and granddaughter Niharika were also present at his death anniversary function.

Former prime minister Vajpayee, one of India's most charismatic leaders who led the nation through several crises and held together with a tenuous coalition with his inclusive politics, died on August 16, 2018, after a period of prolonged illness.

Vajpayee, a bachelor, is survived by his adopted daughter.

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His death was announced by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) hospital, where he was admitted on June 11 with a variety of ailments.

Vajpyee was not known as "Atalji", a name that translates into firmness, for nothing. He was the first ever person from the BJP to have become the country's Prime Minister.

He served as Prime Minister thrice - briefly in 1996, and then for two terms between 1998 and 2004. His first stint as prime minister in 1996 lasted 13 days, from May 16 to 28. The second one ran for 13 months, from March 19, 1998.

The lowest point in his career came when he lost the 1984 Lok Sabha polls, that too from his birthplace Gwalior. And the BJP he led ended up with just two seats in the 545-member Lok Sabha.

Vajpayee's birthday anniversary, on December 25, is celebrated as ''Good Governance Day'' by the party. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 2014.

Vajpayee wrote several books and Hindi poetry. He was a master of pauses, an expert at evading replies, often shrugging off tough posers with a huge laugh, a cold stare or a long pause.

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