He was also the Minister of External Affairs (MEA) in the cabinet of Janta Government headed by Morarji Desai i.e. from 1977-79. He is three time Prime Minister of India. For first time he had served as PM for just 13 days in 1996 and second time for 13 months in 1998-1999. In his third term as PM he completed his full five-year term, making him first PM from outside the Congress party to serve a full term.
His govt’s compensation to families of Kargil martyrs and public funerals for ‘fallen soldiers’ put the idea of sacrifice on a pedestal. It led to US’s Bill Clinton summoning Pakistan’s Nawaz Sharif to Washington DC, and virtually ordering him to withdraw troops. On a 6-hour visit to Islamabad later, Clinton famously said, “Borders cannot be redrawn with blood”.
India carried out nuclear tests, stunned the world, defied subsequent US sanctions under PM Vajpayee. India then announced a moratorium while dialogue was opened between foreign minister Jaswant Singh and US deputy state secretary Strobe Talbott that transformed India-US relations. Described India, US as ‘natural allies’, initiated hi-tech ties that culminated in 2005 India-US nuclear deal.
Lokmanya Tilak Award in 1994 by Government of India
Best Parliamentarian Award in 1994.
Bharat Ratna Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant Award in 1994
Bharat Ratna award in 2015
In order to mark the occasion of this day on the 91 st birth anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee several programmes were organized nationwide and new initiatives were announced.
It should be noted that this day is also being observed as Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Divas.