A parliamentarian for 47 years, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was an accomplished writer, penning several books and poems during his lifetime
New Delhi: The son of a school teacher, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on 25 December 1924 in Gwalior.
■ As an 18-year-old, he joined the Quit India Movement in 1942.
■ In 1951, he joined the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS).
■ He was an accomplished writer, penning several books and poems during his lifetime.
■ Vajpayee was a journalist before being appointed as the political secretary of Shayma Prasad Mookerjee.
■ He entered the Lok Sabha in 1957 after winning the Balrampur seat in UP.
■ Vajpayee remained a member of parliament for 47 years. He was elected 11 times to the Lok Sabha, and twice as a Rajya Sabha member.
■ In 1977, he became the external affairs minister in the Janata Party government.
■ Vajpayee was instrumental in forming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1980.
■ His first term as prime minister in 1996 lasted just 13 days. Two years later, in 1998 he headed the government for 13 months, and then for a full five-year term from 1999.
■ Under him, India successfully carried out the nuclear test, or Operation Shakti, in Pokhran on 13 May, 1998.
■ He started the Delhi-Lahore bus service, Sada-e-Sarhad (Call of the Frontier).
■ The Kargil War with Pakistan broke out during May-July 1999 with Vajpayee as the PM.
■ In 2004, the NDA lost in the general elections and he resigned as the prime minister.
■ Vajpayee announced his retirement from politics at the end of 2005.
■ In 2014, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna. He was also a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan.