Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India's tenth prime minister, died Thursday in New Delhi at the age of 93.
26his condition deteriorated over the last 36 hours and he was put on life support systems. Despite the best of efforts
34India grieves the demise of our beloved Atal Ji. His passing away marks the end of an era. He lived for the nation and served it assiduously for decades. My thoughts are with his family
Considered a giant of Indian politics, he served as prime minister three times between 1996 and 2004 and was instrumental in making India a global nuclear power.
During his second stint as prime minister in 1998, he surprised the world by announcing that India had conducted a series of underground nuclear tests.
It was the first time India had carried out nuclear tests since 1974.
The experiments had taken place without any warning to the international community, which led to widespread outrage and concern.
But in India he was hailed as a hero, and it helped him bolster his image as a leader who was serious about national security and not afraid of international pressure.
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