Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat

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Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat, standing at right side of Pratibha Patil.

As the husband of Pratibha Patil, Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat is the spouse of the former President of India.


Devisingh Ransingh Shekhawat, who was then a lecturer in chemistry,[1] married Pratibha Patil on 7 July 1965. The couple have a daughter and a son, Raosaheb Shekhawat, who is also a politician.[2][3]

Shekhawat was awarded a PhD from the University of Bombay in 1972.[1] Prior to his wife's elevation to her presidential role, he had been principal of a college operated by his wife's Vidya Bharati Shikshan Sanstha and also a former mayor of Amravati (1991-1992). Like his wife, he is a member of the Indian National Congress party.[1][4][5] He is also a farmer and a former Member of Legislative Assembly, being elected for the period 1985-1990 from the Amravati constituency in the Maharashtra state legislature.[1][6][7] He lost his deposit in the 1995 contest for that constituency.[8]

Various accusations against Shekhawat and Patil emerged after the latter was nominated for the office of president.[9] Among these was the case of Kisan Dhage, a teacher in a school run by Vidya Prasarak Shiksan Mandal in Buldana district, who committed suicide in November 1998. He left a note saying that he was committing suicide because he was tired of the mental harassment caused by Shekhawat, who was chairman of the institution, and four others. When the police registered the case as "accidental death", Dhage's wife appealed to the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) in Jalgaon Jamod, a tehsil in Buldana district. The JMFC ordered the police to start criminal proceedings.[10][11] Shekhawat petitioned the courts seeking dismissal of charges of abetting Dhage's suicide. Two lower courts turned down this plea and by June 2007 the issue was pending in the Bombay High Court.[9] A judge at that court dismissed the charges against Shekhawat in 2009 on the grounds that there was no proof of direct involvement, although one of his co-accused remained subject to the proceedings.[12]

In 2009, a court ruled that Shekhawat had colluded with five relatives and local officials to illegally transfer into his ownership 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) of land in Chandrapur belonging to a Dalit farmer. This was one of several allegations of corruption and irregularities to emerge during Patil's presidency in relation to her and her family.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d "I had some misgivings about women in politics". The Sunday Indian. 27 December 2009. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  2. ^ "Ex Governor of Rajasthan". Rajasthan Legislative Assembly Secretariate. Archived from the original on 4 August 2013. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  3. ^ Purohit, Kunal (11 October 2014). "In Amravati, it's about taking revenge for 2009 polls". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  4. ^ "Patil's husband to be occasional guest at Rashtrapati Bhavan". DNA. PTI. 24 July 2007. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  5. ^ "Pratibha Patil's Resume". The Times of India. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  6. ^ Kulkarni, Dhaval (15 June 2007). "Politician, farmer, husband of the next President?". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  7. ^ "State Elections of Maharashtra, 1985" (PDF). Election Commission of India. p. 8. Retrieved 2015-01-11. 
  8. ^ Gaikwad, Rahi (10 October 2009). "Shekhawat faces the heat in Amravati". The Hindu. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  9. ^ a b Thakur, Pradeep; Mahapatra, Dhananjay (28 June 2007). "Muck refuses to move from Pratibha path". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  10. ^ "Fresh Scandal Plagues Pratibha". DNA. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  11. ^ "Devisingh's plea to be heard on July 12". The Hindu. PTI. 29 June 2007. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  12. ^ Ganjapure, Vaibhav (1 February 2009). "High court relief for Prez's husband". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 
  13. ^ "Her Excellency's husband a land grabber?". The Economic Times. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 2016-01-11. 

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