Vajpayee turns 89, greets visitors

Last Updated 25 December 2013, 09:59 IST

Senior BJP leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee turned 89 today with a stream of leaders wishing him on the occasion.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was among the first to greet Vajpayee on his birthday.

Singh, who reached Vajpayee's 6A Krishna Menon Marg residence around 12:30 PM, remained with the BJP veteran for nearly 20 minutes.

Vajpayee's deputy in the NDA Cabinet and senior BJP leader L K Advani also wished the former PM on the occasion.

Vajpayye has been ailing for some time now and is confined to his official residence.

Several people had been waiting since morning to greet Vajpayee on his birthday. Most of them had come from Gwalior where was born, while some had come from Lucknow, a constituency he represented in the Lok Sabha.

BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi also drove down to the BJP veteran's residence to wish him on the occasion.     Besides the Gujarat Chief Minister, Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Vasundhra Raje Scindia and Shivraj Singh Chauhan also greeted Vajpayee.

BJP President Rajnath Singh, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda, former party chief Nitin Gadkari, party leaders Ananth Kumar, Harsh Vardhan and Vijendra Gupta were among the other prominent people who met the former PM.

Born in the family of a humble school teacher on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior, Vajpayee began his career first as a poet, dabbled in journalism and later rose to become one of the most widely regarded political leaders of the country.

He is considered a guru of coalition politics, who successfully led a government supported by as many as 24 political parties.

(Published 25 December 2013, 09:56 IST)

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