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Saturday, April 17, 1999 Published at 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK

World: South Asia

Vajpayee's thirteen months

Can follow INDIA GOVERNMENT FALLS The Indian government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his BJP nationalists lasted just over a year.

It was his second stint as prime minister - his first in 1996 lasted just thirteen days.

His coalition was plagued by factional infighting, was condemned by the international community for last year's nuclear tests, and faced a spate of attacks on India's minority Christian community.

The nation was buffetted by the Asian economic crisis and attempts to promote the BJP's own brand of economic nationalism Swadeshi never really took off.

There were successes: freeing up foreign imports, tax incentives and Mr Vajpayee's most recent and public move to ease relations with Pakistan - his bus ride in February across the border to Lahore.

But within weeks, the death knell had sounded for his coalition as its second biggest party, the AIADMK, pulled out amid protests over the sacking of India's navy chief.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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