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Watch: Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Lok Sabha Speech During 1996 Confidence Motion

What did late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee say in his speech before he lost a no-confidence motion in 1996?

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Producer/Editor: Shohini Bose

"Governments will come and go, leaders will come and go, but this country MUST endure. It must survive."
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, 1996

On 16 May 1996, Atal Bihari Vajpayee took oath as prime minister of India for the first time. But, 13 days later, the Vajpayee-led BJP government lost the trust vote. Hence, Vajpayee's first tenure as prime minister ended barely two weeks after it began.

But before Vajpayee's government lost the vote, the late prime minister took to the floor of the House, speaking before the confidence motion and accusing the Congress of trying to uproot his government.

Vajpayee, a BJP veteran who was famously calm and composed, delivered a speech filled with fire and passion, talking about the need to avoid polarising India on the basis of caste and religion, and attacking the Opposition, saying that "If you want to form a government after removing us, you can, but I don't expect it to last."

In his hour-long reply to the House, Vajpayee accused the Congress of resorting to ‘’sinister’’ moves to remove his government.

He added that many members of the Opposition who had united with the Congress, would forever be stuck answering to the Congress' high command.

What else did late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee say in his historic speech?

Watch the video to find out.

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Topics:  PM Narendra Modi   Parliament   PM Modi 

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