Born On: 23rd October, 1923
Born In: Khachariawas, Sikar district, Rajasthan
Career: Former Vice-President of India
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was popularly known as the 'Babosa' and 'Rajasthan Ka Ek Hi Singh' by the people all over the country of India. He was undoubtedly a great leader of his time. He was the only politician who won each and every assembly election of Rajasthan since 1952, apart from the 1972 assembly elections. In the history of politics, he became popular as a matured and proficient politician. Shekhawat was called the 'Rockefeller of India' by the Chairman of the World Bank, Robert McNamara. He was well-known for the jurisdiction over bureaucracy and the police. Apart from this, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat is known as the Father of Industrial and Economic Development in Rajasthan. He was praised by national and international leaders for his remarkable administration of the Rajya Sabha. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, recently, was announced as one of the 'tallest' leaders of India by the Honorable Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Read on to know more about this honorable politican.
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was born on 23rd October, 1923, in the Khachariawas village of Sikar district in Rajasthan. He was the son of Shri Devi Singh Shekhawat and Smt. Banne Kanwar. He finished his schooling but could not complete his higher studies since his father died and he had to take the responsibility of the family. He worked as a farmer and the Sub-Inspector of police. Later on, he married Smt. Suraj Kanwar and had a daughter Smt. Ratan Kanwar who is married to the BJP leader Narpat Singh Rajvi.
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat entered the field of politics in 1952. From 1952 to 1972 he was the Member of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. In the elections of 1967, the alliance party of Bharatiya Jan Sangh and Swatantra Party came close to a majority but could not form the government. From 1974 to 1977, he served as the Member of Rajya Sabha. From 1977 to 2002, he was the Member of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. In 1977, he won the elections getting 151 seats out of the 200 and became the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and served till February 1980. After the split of his party, Bharatiya Jan Sangh and Swatantra Party in 1980, Bhairon Singh went on to join the Bhartiya Janata Party and worked as the Leader of Opposition till 1990. Later on, in 1984, during the rule of Smt. Indira Gandhi, BJP lost the election. After this, in the elections of 1989, the BJP-Janata Dal coalition won all the 25 seats in the Lok Sabha and also won 140 seats in the Assembly Polls and again in 1990; Bhairon Singh Shekhawat became the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and occupied this position until 1992. He was the one who led the BJP to acquire 99 seats in the next elections. Thus, with the support of independent supporters, he was able to form the government however the Congress was against this. In 1993, for the consecutive third term, he became the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and served as the CM till 1998. However, again in 1998, he lost the elections because of matters related to the hike in the onion price. After this, in 1999, BJP won the Lok Sabha elections one year after the assembly polls. This time BJP won 16 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats from Rajasthan.
In 2002, Bhairon Singh took an oath as the Vice-President of India after defeating Sushil Kumar Shinde, an opposition contender by 149 votes out of the 750. In July 2007, he fought the Presidential elections as an independent nominee supported by the National Democratic Alliance, but unfortunately lost. Smt. Pratibha Patil won the elections and became the President of India. After his defeat, Bhairon Singh resigned from the position of Vice-President on 21st July, 2007.
Awards and Accolades
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was honored with an honorary degree of D.Litt. by the Andhra University, Visakhapatnam; Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidya Peeth, Varanasi and the Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, because of his great achievements and exceptional qualities. The Asiatic Society of Mumbai honored him with an honorary Fellowship and he was also given an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree along with a Gold Medal by the Yerevan State Medical University, Armenia.
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat died on 15th May, 2010 at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur due to respiratory failure. He was also suffering from cancer. His funeral was attended by thousands of people including famous politicians.
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat played a very crucial role in the development of Rajasthan when he was the Chief Minister. He put emphasis on the improvement of education, upbringing of a girl child, well-being and progress of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the minorities, the backward classes and the physically handicapped. The main motive was the enhancement of rights of the poor. He also educated people about family planning and the harmful impact of population explosion on the development of a state. For the financial comfort of the people, he declared several new investment friendly policies that aided the development of industries, mines, roads and tourism. He theorized and implemented the excellent idea of Heritage Hotels and Rural Tourism, which offered an outstanding increase to the tourism in Rajasthan. Thus, during his time, Rajasthan flourished economically and financially.
1923: Born in Khachariawas village of Sikar district, Rajasthan
1952: Stepped into politics
1952-72: Member of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
1974-77: Member of Rajya Sabha
1977-80: Chief Minister of Rajasthan
1977-2002: Member of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
1980-90: Leader of the Opposition, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
1990-92: Chief Minister of Rajasthan for the second term
1993: Chief Minister of Rajasthan for the third term
1998: Leader of the Opposition, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
2002: Vice-President of India
2010: Died in Sawai Man Singh Hospital, Jaipur