|Member of Parliament from Sultanpur (Lok Sabha constituency)|
12 November 1951 |
Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Political party||As of 2009[update] Indian National Congress; at least one other previously|
|Residence||Amethi, Uttar Pradesh|
|Occupation||Politician and social worker|
Sanjay Singh (born 25 September 1951) is a politician from the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. He was twice elected to the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh during the 1980s and held state ministerial posts. In 1990, he became a member of the upper house of the Parliament of India, which is known as the Rajya Sabha, and in 1998 he was elected to the lower house, called the Lok Sabha. His term in the 12th Lok Sabha session lasted until the following year. Subsequently, in 2009, he was successful in obtaining a second term in that house as a member of the 15th Lok Sabha representing the Sultanpur constituency of Uttar Pradesh.
Sanjay Singh was born on 25 September 1951 in the city of Amethi, which was at that time in Sultanpur district. Born into the family that had once ruled Amethi, the New York Times described him in 1988 as a "wealthy, aristocratic and flamboyant politician".
Aside from his involvement in politics, he has listed his professions as being an agriculturalist, pilot and a social worker. He holds the rank of Major (retired) in the Indian Territorial Army and also has a private pilot's license.
Singh had lent support to Sanjay Gandhi when that member of the Nehru-Gandhi family had chosen to contest the Amethi constituency in the elections of 1980. The Amethi area has strong links to the Nehru-Gandhi family and at that time the neighbouring constituency of Rae Bareli was held by Sanjay's mother, Indira Gandhi. He subsequently became a friend of Rajiv Gandhi, who succeeded Sanjay as the representative for Amethi.
His association with the Gandhi family "shot [him] into political limelight", according to The Times of India. However, Singh left the Gandhi-led Indian National Congress (INC) party in 1988 and joined Janata Dal, which was led by a relative of his first wife. Despite a general mood favouring Janata Dal, Singh's attempt to oust Rajiv Gandhi in the Indian general election, 1989 did not reflect it and he was heavily defeated by the incumbent. He later changed his allegiance to that of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and in the 1998 Lok Sabha elections he won the Amethi constituency seat. After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, a colleague of Gandhi in the INC, Satish Sharma, had become the Amethi representative but he neglected his constituents and caused them to flock to Singh. Although Singh stood again as the BJP candidate in the elections of 1999, on that occasion he was faced with a challenge from the widow of Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia, who played heavily on her family's contributions to the area. Singh lost.
He rejoined the INC in 2003, choosing to announce his move on the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi. He gained a second term as a member of the lower house of the Parliament of India in the elections of 2009. Since that time[update], he has represented the Sultanpur constituency as a member of the INC.
The Lok Sabha profile shows that he has held the following positions:
- Member, Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly(two terms) 1980–1989
- Minister of State, Forests, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Sports and Youth Welfare, Government of Uttar Pradesh 1982–1985
- Minister of Transport, Uttar Pradesh 1985–1987
- Member of the Rajya Sabha 1990
- Union Minister, Communications, 1990–1991
- Elected Member of the 12th Lok Sabha, 1998
- Member of the Committee on Human Resource Development and its sub-committee on Value Based Education 1998–1999
- Member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of Defence 1998–1999.
- Member, Joint Committee on Offices of Profit Member, 1998–1999
- Elected to 15th Lok Sabha (second term) 2009
- Member, Committee on Rural Development. 31 August 2009
- Member, Committee on Petitions. 23 September 2009
- Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. 23 September 2009
- Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Civil Aviation. 23 September 2009
He has noted "games and sports" as his "favourite pastime and recreation" and that his special interests are flying, riding, shooting and swimming. As of the 15th Lok Sabha[update], he was President of the Uttar Pradesh Hockey Association and of the Uttar Pradesh Football Sangh, as well as Vice-President of the All India Football Federation. At that time he was also a member of clubs in Lucknow and New Delhi and was serving on the governing body of the Sports Authority of India. Other involvements included the Delhi Development Authority and the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi.
Singh has an interest in the upliftment of disadvantaged rural populations. and he founded the Rajarshi Rananjay Sinh Jan Kalyan Samiti, which operates primarily in the sphere of providing free healthcare. Since 1998, the organisation has also organised mass marriages on an annual basis, which has been described as "pioneering work ... arranging mass marriages of girls of poor people with no distinction based on caste, community, religion or class".
At various times, Singh has served as an officer or president of Aligarh Muslim University and numerous schools and colleges in Amethi. He has also been chairman of the Pradesik Co-operative Dairy Federation of Uttar Pradesh.
Murder of Syed Modi
Syed Modi, a badminton player who had won numerous national and international titles, was shot dead on 28 July 1988 in Lucknow. The murder attracted worldwide attention. There were suggestions that Modi's wife, Amita, was involved in a relationship with Singh, who was a close friend of the couple and at whose house they had married. In late August, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched a search of Singh's house. The investigation was urged upon the CBI by the government of Uttar Pradesh and in November 1988, Amita Modi, Singh and another politician, Akhilesh Singh, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Four others were charged with the murder itself. Subsequently, Modi, Sanjay Singh and Akilesh Singh successfully challenged the charges laid against them, resulting in the charges against Modi and Sanjay Singh being dropped in September 1990 and those against Akilesh Singh following the same course in 1996. The Supreme Court upheld the rulings of the lower courts.
Disputed divorce and disputed remarriage
Singh claims to be married to Modi's widow, Amita, but his first wife, Garima, has contested the legitimacy of the marriage. Garima claims that both the High Court and Supreme Court have declared the alleged mutual divorce between herself and Singh in 1995 to be null and void. Singh has accepted the court rulings but denies her claim that they were made because he arranged for an imposter to portray her in the divorce case. Despite the rulings, he maintains that Amita is his legally wedded wife.
In 2014, the marital arrangements resulted in a public dispute regarding property inheritance. Singh and Amita live at Bhupati Bhawan, a 450-year old former royal palace in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, that Garima had to leave around the time of the now-voided divorce. In July 2014, Garima returned to claim the right of inheritance for her son and grandson which she felt was endangered because, she claims, Amita had been selling the properties as well as transferring them into the charitable trust headed by her.
On 25 July 2014, Garima Singh reached the palace along with her children. A row developed between her party and people guarding the building, news of which soon spread to nearby villages and attracted people who supported her and her eldest son, Anant Vikram Singh. A fight ensued.
On 14 September 2014 Sanjay and Amita were about to enter the palace, where Garima and the children were now living, when clashes erupted between the opposing supporters. Police resorted to a baton charge to control the situation. Several people were severely injured, there were claims of police brutality and a policeman was killed.
During the inheritance dispute, Anant Vikram Singh has demanded a further CBI inquiry into the killing of Syed Modi. Garima Singh and her children claim that the local administration has been working in tandem with Singh and continuously posed obstacles in their way to obtain justice.
- "Fifteenth Lok Sabha Members Bioprofile". Lok Sabha Secretariat. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Bernard Weinraub (28 August 1988). "India Murder Scandal Mixes Sex and Politics". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Sanjay Singh comes full circle". The Times of India. TNN. 21 August 2003. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Shenoy, T. V. R. (10 September 1999). "Bellary's shadow looms over Amethi". rediff.com. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Ramakrishnan, Venkitesh (8 October 1999). "Amethi's pride". Frontline 16 (20). Archived from the original on 24 June 2009. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Sisodiya, Ravi Singh (21 August 2009). "Syed Modi case closed, motive unclear". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Battle Of Amethi, II, Outlook India.
- Royal feud: 50-year-old Bhupati Bhawan Palace in Amethi locked in inheritance battle, The Economic Times.
- The new squabble at Amethi: Domestic troubles of Sanjay Singh enter the fray, Hindustan Times.
- Sanjay Singh, kids locked in battle over Amethi palace, The Hindu.
- Amethi maharaj Sanjay Singh in nasty property feud, India Today.
- Amethi clash: 18 arrested, one media person injured, Sify.
- Amethi royal dispute gets ugly as cop dies in firing, DNA India.