SHRI LK ADVANI
 
  Through the years Advaniji had served as the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the longest period since its inception in 1980. Capping a parliamentary career of nearly three decades, Advaniji was, first, the Home Minister and, later, the Deputy Prime Minister in the cabinet of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1999-2004).
 
  Advaniji was born on November 8, 1927, and grew up in pre-Partition Sindh. As a student in St.Patrick's School, Karachi, his patriotic ideals inspired him to join the Rashtriya Swayamasevak Sangh (RSS) at the mere age of fourteen. He has dedicated his life to the service of the nation ever since.
 
  Advaniji‚Äôs celebration of India's independence from the British in 1947 was sadly short lived as he became one of the millions to be torn from his homeland amidst the terror and bloodshed of the tragedy of India's partition. These events, however, did not turn him bitter or cynical but instead spurred him on in his desire to create a more secular India. With this goal in mind he journeyed to Rajasthan to continue his work as an RSS Pracharak.
 
  Through the latter half of the 1980s and the 1990s, Advaniji focused on the singular task of building the BJP into a national political force. The results of his efforts were underscored by the 1989 General Election. The Party bounced back from its 1984 tally of 2 to achieve an impressive 86 seats. The Party position moved up to 121 seats in 1992 and 161 in 1996; making the 1996 elections a watershed in Indian democracy. For the first time since independence, the Congress was dethroned from its preeminent position, and the BJP became the single largest party in the Lok Sabha.