Atal Bihari Vajpayee is called a statesman, he was known for his humble attitude but a strong conviction towards Nation. He was respected by all leaders across party lines. He was the first non-Congress person to become the Prime Minister. Apart from his political inclination he is a great poet who enjoyed writing poems on Nation.
In the year 1996, Vajpayee was sworn in as the Prime Minister for the very first time, but sadly he wasn’t able to declare majority on the floor of the house which made him resign just 13 days after swearing in. In 1998, the BJP emerged as the single largest party and Vajpayee formed the government with the support of allies. But the government only lasted for one year after J Jayalalitha withdrew her support to the government. But in 1999, Vajpayee was again elected as Prime Minister of India with BJP being the single largest party. He completed a full term and was called one of the most successful PM of India, for his various path breaking steps in reforms.
Unlike Indira and Rajiv, Vajpayee did not get power as a heredity factor but with hard work and 50 years struggle he achieved something he deserved the most.
But there is an incident which he may always repent in his life. An incident which probably helped Congress come back to power in the 2004 elections, which can be called the biggest disaster to India. A hard earned power by Vajpayee was given away to Congress by a silly mistake. In the 10 years Congress rule, the party drowned the Indian economy, tarnished India’s image and made our country irrelevant in the global world. The National security was compromised, terrorists given free hand, Jammu Kashmir neglected and East-India betrayed. The economy which was growing at 8.6% in the year 2004 had fallen to 4.3% in just 10 years!
In a way, it was the negligence of the BJP government and Atal Bihari Vajepayee who indirectly helped Sonia Gandhi get back to power.
In the year 2001, Rahul Gandhi who was traveling to America was stopped in the Boston Airport, it is said that he was caught carrying 1,60,000 USD in CASH and a bag of white powder. The preliminary reports indicated that the white powder was Heroine (banned drug). The FBI had detained him and taken into private room for interrogation. Sonia Gandhi then had requested the then Prime Minister Mr Vajpayee to meddle in and help Rahul Gandhi. She had promised Vajpayee that she will help Parliament function and will not disrupt developmental plans. Mr. Vajpayee could have ignored the request, but however he saw no grudge against Sonia Gandhi and had instructed his principle secretary Brajesh Mishra to call Condoleezza Rice and had asked for the immediate release of Rahul Gandhi.
The crime was serious as Rahul Gandhi was said to be carrying drugs and huge cash of 1,60,000 USD without declaration. The American law lets you carry only 10,000 USD in cash and anything above the amount requires an official declaration which otherwise will lead to 8 years imprisonment for every 10 thousand you exceed. Which means Rahul Gandhi had 1,60,000 USD , that is 16 times more than the limit which would have given him 128 years of Jail term!
It is said that Atl Bihari Vajyapee used all his influence and powers only to save this Crook family from a crime. The Bush government had considered the request and asked the FBI to let Rahul Gandhi off the hook stating that it will affect the Indo-US relationship. The FBI agreed to the request with a condition that Rahul Gandhi must appear before the FBI when called and took a written assurance for the same. After 8 hours of questioning, a case was booked and he was let free.
This one incident gave another life to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi who otherwise would have lost relevance 15 years back for the grave act they did. Today when we look back, we wonder why it is necessary to be tough at times and show no sympathy to criminals.
The history also teaches many lessons as to how many Indian rulers had forgiven Moghals and British only to be back stabbed and killed later by unethical means.