Former Prime Minister and veteran BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee along with freedom fighter and leading Educationist of the country late Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya, have been awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ by the Union Government. A notification on this regard has been issued by the President’s Office. Vajpayee and Pt. Malviya share the common birthday on December 25. A day before their birthday, the Modi Government decided to confer the prestigious award on them.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who even commands respect among his critics and political opponents, is known as a statesman rather than a leader. He was the Prime Minister of India in 1996, 1998 and 1999. He also became the first non-Congress PM to complete a full five-year term. Vajpayee was active in politics for over 40 years. He was elected to Lok Sabha nine times apart from being the member of Rajya Sabha twice.
The 89-year-old Vajpayee was born on December 25, 1924 in the erstwhile Gwalior State. Vajpayee was one of the founder members of erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which he had also headed. He was also the Minister of External Affairs in the cabinet of Morarji Desai. When Janata government collapsed, Vajpayee restarted the Jana Sangh as the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980 with the help of LK Advani. His birthday, 25 December, has been declared as ‘Good Governance Day’ by Modi government. Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee remains a bachelor.
Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya, also addressed as ‘Mahamana’, was the President of the Indian National Congress in 1909 and 1918. He founded the most popular education institution, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916. He also founded a highly influential, English-newspaper, The Leader published from Allahabad in 1909. Pt. Malaviya was among the founders of Hindu Mahasabha.
He was also the Chairman of Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946 and was instrumental in the launch of its Hindi edition in 1936. He was born on December 25, 1861 in Allahabad and breathed his last on November 12, 1946 in Banaras (Varanasi). Prime Minister Narendra Modi currently represents the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.