Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee dies in New Delhi on Thursday, after a prolonged illness. Leaders from across the political parties and industrial organizations paid rich tribute to the departed soul of Vajpayee. Leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian President Ramnath Kovind, Indian National Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and many other paid homage to the greatest leader of India on Friday.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee remains India’s first non-Congress politician to complete five years as a Prime Minister. He came to power as the Prime Minister of India three times which include his 13-day long prime ministerial era. His premiership was very significant to the nation as it was eventful in shaping India’s democracy and putting the country on the road to economic progress. He was called as the “Bheeshm Pitamah of Indian Politics”. The poet Prime Minister’s six years in government from 1998 to 2004 saw governance and development take centre stage at a time when the political discourse in the country was seen through the prism of religion, caste and political instability. Many crucial developments and accomplishments took place during his leadership. Many of his decisions made him stand strong as one of the decisive Prime Ministers of India after Indira Gandhi.
Here are the 6 crucial decisions taken by Vajpayee during his PM tenure
1. Kargil War
Vajpayee’s prime ministership tenure was characterized by the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan and the latter’s subsequent defeat was a major achievement of the government. The 1999 Kargil war, christened Operation Vijay, was fought between May and July 1999 and was necessitated after Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants infiltrated into India across the Line of Control (LoC). The war finally came to an end after US President Bill Clinton spoke to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on recommendation of Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan took back it’s troops after suffering heavy damage.
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2. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
It was a step taken by Vajpayee, which was a social scheme to provide universal access to free elementary education for children aged 6-14 years. Within four years of it’s launch in 2001, the number of out-of-school children dropped by 60 per cent.
3. Telecom Revolution
The Vajpayee government’s New Telecom Policy unleashed the Telecom revolution in India by replacing fixed license fees for telecom firms with a revenue-sharing arrangement. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited was created to separate policy formulation and provision of service. The creation of the Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal also separated the government’s regulatory and dispute settlement roles. The government ended the monopoly of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd on international telephony.
4. Fast-tracking Bharat
Vajpayee’s one of the most memorable achievements was the ambitious road projects he launched – the Golden Quadrilateral and the Pradhanmantri Gramin Sadak Yojna. Both the projects proved to be immense success and also contributed to India’s economic growth majorly.
5. Science and Research
On India’s 56th Independence Day, Vajpayee said, “Our country is now ready to fly high in the field of science. I am pleased to announce that India will send her own spacecraft to the moon by 2008. It is being named Chandrayaan.” He also made India a nuclear weapon state. In 1998, India conducted five nuclear tests in one week, which brought US like superpower nation against it. India still continued to ascend it’s economic growth and today US and other countries stand with India and it is seen as one of the fastest growing economies of the world.
6. Introduction to Fiscal Responsibility Act
Besides raising India’s GDP to eight per cent in his tenure, he further introduced the Fiscal Responsibility Act which aimed to reduce the fiscal deficit and boost public-sector savings.
Vajpayee still remains in the heart of every Indian including the young generation based on these crucial decisions taken in the history of the nation to strengthen the nation stand strong and tall before the world. We salute this hero and pray that his soul rest in peace and wish he stays with every patriotic soul in the nation.