PM, BJP leaders greet Vajpayee on his 87th birthday

December 25th, 2011 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Dec 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and other well-wishers gave their best wishes to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who turned 87 Sunday.

“The prime minister visited Vajpayee at his home and wished him,” an official of the Prime Minister’s Office told IANS.

A BJP source said: “L.K. Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley visited Vajpayee’s residence with bouquets and gifts and gave their good wishes to him.”

They met the veteran leader at his Krishna Menon Marg residence where he moved to after he left the prime minister’s residence following his election defeat in 2004.

According to the source, the birthday of Vajpayee — who remains one of India’s most popular and charismatic political leaders and whose name continues to be invoked for the party’s campaign — is widely celebrated by party workers across the country.

“The party workers have decided to celebrate his birthday as ‘Good Governance and Clean Politics Day’. We are also holding a bhajan in the evening at Siri Fort auditorium,” the source said.

One of the founder leaders of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the BJP’s predecessor, Vajpayee has not been keeping well for sometime now and did not contest the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

He was prime minister for 13 days in 1996, then for 13 months from March 1998 onwards and presided over the country for a third time from October 1999 to May 2004, when the Congress ousted the BJP.

Even his political foes consider him one of India’s most experienced politicians with a mass base spread across the length and breadth of the country.

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