India became a nuclear power in May 1998, when it conducted a series of nuclear weapon tests at the Pokhran Test Range in the Indian state of Rajasthan. This was the first time that India had tested nuclear weapons since 1974, and the tests were seen as a major milestone for the country’s scientific and military capabilities. The tests were met with international condemnation and economic sanctions, but they also helped to establish India as a major nuclear power.
The Pokhran nuclear tests were carried out under the direction of Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Vajpayee was the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was in power in India at the time. He was a strong advocate for India’s nuclear program and had been pushing for the country to conduct further nuclear tests since the 1970s. The tests were carried out by Indian scientists and military personnel.