V. P. Singh Age

Former Indian Prime Minister V P Singh was born on 25 June 1931 — the third child to be born in the royal household of Dahiya on the banks of the ancient Belan river in Allahabad. But fate had different plans for him.

He was soon to be adopted by Raja Gopal Singh of Manda (from the Gaharvar clan). At the age of 10 ascended the Manda throne in 1941. He obtained his education from Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Dehradun and studied at Allahabad and Pune universities.

V. P. Singh Image
V. P. Singh Image

Singh married Princess Sita Kumari, the daughter of the Raja of Deogarh-Madaria, Rajasthan, on 25 June 1955. It was an arranged marriage. He turned 24 on the day of the marriage, and she was 18. Kumari was a Sisodia Rajput descended from Rana Pratap of Udaipur.

V P Singh Son

The couple had two sons, Ajeya Singh (born 1957), a chartered accountant in New York, and Abhai Singh (born 1958), a doctor at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

V P Singh Biography

Singh became a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh in 1969 as a member of the Congress Party.

People elected him to the Lok Sabha in 1971. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi appointed him a Deputy Minister of Commerce  in 1974. He served as the Minister of Commerce in 1976–77.

Indira Gandhi appointed him as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1980, when Gandhi was re-elected after the Janata interlude. He resumed his post as Minister of Commerce in 1983.

V P Singh Cabinet

In 1984, Singh was appointed to the post of Finance Minister in the tenth Cabinet of India. Soon he oversaw the gradual relaxation of the License Raj (governmental regulation) as Gandhi had in mind.

During his term as Finance Minister, he oversaw the reduction of gold smuggling by reducing gold taxes and giving the police a portion of the confiscated gold.

He also gave extraordinary powers to the Enforcement Directorate of the Finance Ministry, the wing of the ministry charged with tracking down tax evaders, then headed by Bhure Lal.

Singh’s efforts to reduce governmental regulation of business and to prosecute tax fraud attracted widespread praise.

V P Singh Bofors

Gandhi sacked him as Finance Minister, possibly because he conducted raids on industrialists who had supported the Congress financially in the past.

However, Singh’s popularity was at such a pitch that only a sideways move seemed to have been possible, to the Defence Ministry (in January 1987).

Once ensconced in South Block, Singh began to investigate the notoriously murky world of defence procurement.

After a while, word began to spread that Singh possessed information about the Bofors defence deal (the infamous arms-procurement fraud) that could damage Gandhi’s reputation.

Before he could act on it, he was dismissed from the Cabinet and, in response, resigned his memberships in the Congress Party (Indira) and the Lok Sabha.

V. P. Singh Party

Singh floated an opposition party named Jan Morcha. People re-elected him to Lok Sabha in a tightly contested by-election from Allahabad, defeating Sunil Shastri.

On 11 October 1988, the birthday of the original Janata coalition’s leader Jayaprakash Narayan, Singh founded the Janata Dal by the merger of Jan Morcha, Janata Party, Lok Dal and Congress (S). In order to bring together all the centrist parties opposed to the Rajiv Gandhi government, and Singh was elected the President of the Janata Dal.

An opposition coalition of the Janata Dal with regional parties including the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Telugu Desam Party, and Asom Gana Parishad, came into being, called the National Front, with V. P. Singh as convener, NT Rama Rao as President, and P Upendra as a General Secretary.

The National Front fought 1989 General Elections after coming to an electoral understanding with Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left parties (the two main oppositions) that served to unify the anti-Congress vote.

The National Front, with its allies, earned a simple majority in the Lok Sabha and decided to form a government.

The Bharatiya Janta Party under the leadeship of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani and the left parties such as the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India declined to serve in the government. They preferred to support the government from outside.

Singh held office for slightly less than a year, from 2 December 1989 to 10 November 1990. After state legislative elections in March 1990, Singh’s governing coalition achieved control of both houses of India’s parliament.

V.P Singh Achievements

As Chief Minister (1980–82), he cracked down hard on dacoity, a problem that was particularly severe in the rural districts of the south-west Uttar Pradesh.

He received much favorable national publicity when he offered to resign following a self-professed failure to stamp out the problem. He again when he personally oversaw the surrender of some of the most feared dacoits of the area in 1983.

In 1989, Singh was responsible for managing the coalition of the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against Rajiv Gandhi to dethrone him in the 1989 elections.

People remembered him for the important role that he played in 1989 that changed the course of Indian politics. Singh acted boldly by issuing an arrest warrant against L. K. Advani midway through the latter’s Rath Yatra.

V. P. Singh Cause of Death

Singh died after a very long struggle with multiple myeloma and renal failure at Apollo Hospital in Delhi on 27 November 2008, aged 77.

His family cremated him at Allahabad on the banks of the River Ganges on 29 November 2008. His son Ajeya Singh lighting the funeral pyre.

V P Singh Caste

He belongs to Thakur, an upper caste Hindu Caste.

V P Singh Book

Peristroika in India: VP Singh’s Prime Ministership by GS Bhargava
VP Singh: Portrait of a Leader by Madan Gaur
The Lonely Prophet: VP Singh, a Political Biography by Seema Mustafa:
Manjil se Jyada Safar (in Hindi) by Ram Bahadur Rai

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