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Politics & War

Politics & War

Chandra Shekher

Chandra Shekher
    • Shri Chandra Shekhar was born on July 1, 1927, in a farmer’s family in village Ibrahimpatti in District Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. He was President of the Janata Party from 1977 to 1988.
    • He came from a poor farming family.He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (graduate) degree at Satish Chandra P.G. College. He attended Allahabad University, obtaining his master’s degree in political science in 1951.
  • He was known as a firebrand in student politics and started his political career with Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia. After when he had completed his graduation, he became active in socialist politics.
  • Shri Chandra Shekhar was attracted to politics from his student days and was known as a fire-brand idealist with revolutionary.
  • He joined the socialist movement and was elected secretary of the district Praja Socialist Party (PSP), Ballia. Within a year, he was elected joint secretary of the PSP’s State unit in Uttar Pradesh.
  • In 1955–56, he took over as general secretary of the party in the State. His career as a parliamentarian began with his election to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in 1962.
  • He came under the spell of Acharya Narendra Dev, a fiery Socialist leader in the beginning of his political career.
  • He joined the Indian National Congress in January 1965. In 1967 he was elected General Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party.
  • As a Member of Parliament he made a mark by taking keen interest in espousing the cause of the downtrodden and pleading for policies for rapid social change.
  • He came to be as ‘Young Turk’ leader for his conviction, courage and integrity in the fight against vested interested. He founded and edited YOUNG INDIAN, a weekly published from Delhi in 1969.
  • Shri Chandra Sekhar has always stood against politics of personalities and has favoured politics of ideology and social change. This propelled him more towards Shri Jayaprakash Narayan and his idealist view of life during the turbulant days of 1973-75.
  • When Emergency was declared on June 25, 1975, he was arrested under Maintenance of Internal Security Act inspite of the fact that he was a member of the Central Election Committee and Working Committee, top bodies of the Indian National Congress.
  • He was arrested and sent to Patiala jail. Immediately after the Emergency, Chandrashekhar kept out of the power structure and became the first President of the Janata Party, formed in 1977. • Shri Chandra Sekhar is married to Smt. Duja Devi and has two sons, Pankaj and Neeraj.
  • After the emergency, he became the President of Janata Party. In the parliamentary elections, Janata Party did very well and formed the coalition government headed by Morarji Desai from 1977-79.
  • In 1988 Shekhar’s Janata Party merged with several other opposition parties to form the Janata Dal Party under the leadership of V.P. Singh, who subsequently became prime minister.
  • After leading an internal rebellion against Singh, Shekhar broke with the Janata Dal Party on Nov. 5, 1990, and quickly formed the Janata Dal–Socialist faction. With the support of Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress (I) Party, he replaced Singh as India’s prime minister on Nov. 10, 1990
    • Chandra Shekhar was prime minister for seven months, the second shortest period after that of Charan Singh.
    • He also handled the portfolios of Defence and Home Affairs during this period. His government included preamble and fighting of the Gulf War of 1990–91.
  • However, it could not introduce a full budget because Congress withdrew support during its formulation. In the spring of 1991, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi decided to precipitate a new election. Chandra Shekhar resigned the office of prime minister on 6 March 1991.
  • After handing the premiership to P. V. Narasimha Rao, Chandra Shekar’s political importance was reduced, although he was able to retain his seat in the Lok Sabha for many years afterwards.
  • Chandra Shekhar died on 8 July 2007, a week after his 80th birthday. He had been suffering with multiple myeloma for some time and had been in the Apollo Hospital at New Delhi since May. He was survived by two sons.
  • Politicians from across the spectrum of Indian parties paid tribute to him and the government of India declared seven days of state mourning.
  • He was cremated with full state honours on a traditional funeral pyre at Jannayak sthal, on the banks of the river Yamuna, on 10 July.