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A veteran Parliamentarian whose career stretches over four decades, Shri Vajpayee has been elected to the Lok Sabha (House of the People) nine times and to the Rajya Sabha (House of the States) twice, a record by itself. He is the first Prime Minister since Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to have become Prime Minister of India with two successive mandates. Born in the family of a humble school teacher on December 25 1924, in the erstwhile princely state of Gwalior, Shri Vajpayee’s rise in public life is a tribute to both his political acumen and Indian democracy. Over the decades, he has emerged as a leader who commands respect for his liberal worldview and commitment to democratic ideals. 11thMay 1998 was truly a golden day when as Prime Minister of India he announced to the nation and rest of the world the successful underground nuclear test in Pokhran. At the same time he made it clear India’s stand on nuclear weapon that India wanted peace, harmony. He also sought to improve diplomatic relation with Pakistan, travelling to Lahore by Bus. He steered the country to victory in 1999 Kargil War. He undertook many reforms measures with regards to the country and keeping it on the liberalization track including initiation of Golden quadrilateral project. India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna , was conferred upon him in recognition of his selfless dedication to his first and only love, India, and his more than half-a-century of service to society and the nation in 2015. In 1994, he was named India’s ‘Best Parliamentarian.’ The citation read: “True to his name, Atalji is an eminent national leader, an erudite politician, a selfless social worker, forceful orator, poet and litterateur, journalist and indeed a multi-faceted personality. Atalji articulates the aspirations of the masses. His works ever echo total commitment to nationalism.