B. D. Sharma

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Bhagwat Dayal Sharma

Bhagwat Dayal Sharma (1918–1993), popularly known as Panditji, was the first Chief Minister of Haryana of Independent India. He was Governor of Odisha and Madhya Pradesh from 30 April 1980 to 14 May 1984.[1]

He was born at Beri (a sub-division in Haryana) on 26 January 1917. Bansi Lal, Bhajan Lal and many other noted politicians learned politics under his guidance.

Personal life[edit]

Sharma married Savitri Devi and they had six children; three sons and three daughters.He was educated in Col. Brown Cambridge School in Dehra Dun. His eldest son Rajesh Sharma remained Sports Minister of Haryana and Deputy Chairman of Planning Board of Haryana. After his wife Savitri's death, Panditji built, in her memory, "Savitri Nikunj", an exotic garden, with indigenous and rare plants and trees, at Raj Bhawan of Bhopal.

Independence movement and political career[edit]

  • Participated in the freedom struggle from 1941–46
  • Awarded jail for 1 year in 1941
  • Awarded jail for 3.5 years in 1942
  • Member of Indian labourers delegation to ILO (Geneva) in 1957 and 1958
  • All-India Trade Union Congress (Punjab HP, J & K) Secretary and President in 1959-61
  • Member of Punjab Legislative Assembly and Minister of State for Labour and Cooperatives from 1962–66
  • Chief Minister of Haryana in 1966-67
  • Rajya Sabha member from 1968–74
  • Appointed Odisha Governor in 1977
  • Patron of many social and cultural institutions of Odisha
  • Actively involved in administrative committee of Jagannath temple
  • Transferred to Madhya Pradesh since Odisha climate didn't suit his health.
  • For development of tourism in Odisha, he had suggested to the Government of Odisha for conversion of Puri Raj Bhavan to a Posh Hotel for international tourists with facilities for Golf, Swimming Pool, Tennis Court and big hall for holding conferences. Indian Tourist Development Corporation (ITDC) was then pursued to take up the venture.
  • Traveled to Switzerland, U.K., USSR, Germany, USA, and some other European countries


Sharma died on 22 February 1993 because of gradual declining health and old age.[citation needed] Huge numbers of people from all over world attended his funeral. His cremation took place at Beri (the village, he was born at), Jhajjar, Haryana. A tomb place has been built at the site of his cremation in Beri.


Rohtak Medical College was named after him.[2]