Chandra Shekhar

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Chandra Shekhar
Chandra Shekhar (cropped).jpg
Chandra Shekhar in 1978
8th Prime Minister of India
In office
10 November 1990 – 21 June 1991
President Venkataraman
Deputy Chaudhary Devi Lal
Preceded by V. P. Singh
Succeeded by P. V. Narasimha Rao
Minister of Defence
In office
10 November 1990 – 21 June 1991
Preceded by V. P. Singh
Succeeded by Sharad Pawar
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
10 November 1990 – 21 June 1991
Preceded by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Succeeded by Shankarrao Chavan
Personal details
Born (1927-07-01)1 July 1927
Ibrahimpatti, United Provinces, British India
Died 8 July 2007(2007-07-08) (aged 80)
New Delhi, India
Political party Samajwadi Janata Party (1990–2007)
Other political
Congress Socialist Party (Before 1964)
Indian National Congress (1964–75)
Independent (1975–77)
Janata Party (1977–88)
Janata Dal (1988–90) Lok Sabha Lok Sabha Constituency Ballia Uttar Pradesh
Alma mater Allahabad University
Religion Hinduism

Chandra Shekhar Singh (1 July 1927 – 8 July 2007) was the eighth Prime Minister of India.

Early life and education[edit]

Chandra Shekhar Singh was born in a farming family on 1 July 1927 in Ibrahimpatti, a village in the Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh. He was awarded a Master of Arts degree at Allahabad University. He was known as a firebrand in student politics. After graduation, he became active in socialist politics.[1] He was married to Duja Devi. He honored as "Proud Past Alumni" of Allahabad University by Allahabad University Alumni Association.[2][3]

Political life[edit]

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. From 1962 to 1967, Shekhar belonged to the Rajya Sabha, the Upper house of the Parliament of India. When emergency was declared, even though he was a Congress party politician, he was arrested and sent to Patiala jail.[4] He had a nationwide padayatra in 1983 to know the country better, which he claimed gave the jitters to Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister. He was called a "Young Turk".[5]

Chandra Shekhar was a prominent leader of socialists. He joined Congress in 1964. From 1962 to 1967, he was a member of the Rajya Sabha. He first entered the Lok Sabha in 1967. As a member of the Congress Party, he vehemently criticised Indira Gandhi for her activities. This led to a split in the Congress in 1975. Chandrashekhar was arrested during the emergency and sent to prison.

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 late Morarji Desai. In 1988, his party merged with other parties and formed the government under the leadership of V.P. Singh. Again his relationship with the coalition deteriorated and he formed another party, Janata Dal socialist faction. With the support of Congress (I) headed by Rajiv Gandhi, he replaced V.P. Singh as the Prime Minister of India in November 1990.

Prime Minister of India[edit]

After his predecessor V.P. Singh resigned, he led a breakaway faction of the Janata Dal, known as the Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya). He became the eighth Prime Minister of India on 10 November 1990 as Congress decided to extend outside support to his government. The relationship crumbled quickly, as the Congress party accused him of spying on Rajiv Gandhi, their leader at that time.[6] The Congress Party then boycotted Parliament and as Shekhar's faction only had 64 MPs, he resigned in a nationally televised address on 6 March 1991. He remained in office until national elections could be held later that year.[7]

It was during these elections that Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated.

Shekhar was known for abiding by the parliamentary conventions and was honoured with the inaugural Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 1995.[6]

Shekhar was a member of the Lok Sabha, India's lower house of Parliament. He led the Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya), (Socialist People's Party (National)). Starting in 1977, he won elections to the Lok Sabha eight times from Ballia constituency in eastern Uttar Pradesh. The only election that he lost was in 1984 against Jagganath Chaudhary of Congress (I).


Chandra Shekhar suffered from multiple myeloma, a form of cancer of the plasma cell. He had been hospitalised for over three months by the date of his death, aged 80, in New Delhi on 8 July 2007.[1] He was survived by two sons. One of them, Neeraj Shekhar contested and won the Ballia Lok Sabha which was vacated through his father's death.[8]

His elder son Pankaj Shekhar is well known public figure and the grandson Shashank Shekhar is a prominent lawyer practicing in London. Pankaj Shekhar recently joined Bhartiya Janta Party in the presence of Party President Rajnath Singh as Pankaj is known as one of the persons who are closed to Narendra Modi, BJP.


  1. ^ a b "Former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar dies". The Hindu. 8 July 2007. 
  2. ^ " Internet Archive of Proud Past Alumni"
  3. ^ "" Internet Archive of Proud Past Alumni"
  4. ^ Movers and Shakers Prime Minister of India by Scharada Dubey - 2009 When Emergency was declared, Chandra Shekhar was among the very few individuals within the ruling Congress party to be sent to jail.
  5. ^ "Chandrashekhar – A firebrand idealist". Times of India. 8 July 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "A rebel's journey". The Frontline. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Chandra Shekhar tenders resignation". Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Neeraj Shekhar wins Ballia LS by-election". PTI. 2 January 2008. 
Political offices
Preceded by
V. P. Singh
Prime Minister of India
Succeeded by
P. V. Narasimha Rao
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Sharad Pawar
Preceded by
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Minister of Home Affairs
Succeeded by
Shankarrao Chavan