Kalpnath Rai

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Kalpnath Rai
Born 4 January 1941
Mau U.P
Died 6 August 1999 (aged 58)
Nationality Indian

Kalpnath Rai was a Rajya Sabha member from 1974–80, 1980–86, 1986–92 and represented Ghosi four times to the Lok Sabha. He was also Minister in various Congress (I) ministries at the centre and was a senior Congress Leader.

Educational Qualifications M.A.(English), M.A. (Sociology), LL.B. Educated at Gorakhpur University (Uttar Pradesh) Profession Lawyer, Agriculturist, Political and Social Worker, 7 Times Member of Parliament. Delhi Address: 36, Aurangzeb/Abdul Kalam Azad Road. New Delhi. Permanent Address Vill. & P.O. Semari Jamalpur, Distt. Mau-275101 (Uttar Pradesh) Positions Held

  1. . 1963-66 General-Secretary, Samajvadi Yuvjan Sabha, Uttar Pradesh
  2. . 1967-69 Executive Member, Samyukta Socialist Party (S.S.P.)
  3. . 1969-70 Chairman, National Central Commission, S.S.P.
  4. . 1974-76 Member, Executive Committee, Congress Parliamentary Party (Indira) [C.P.P.(I)]
  5. . 1974-78 Member, Rajya Sabha
  6. . 1978-79 General-Secretary, C.P.P. (I) Member, All India Congress Committee

(Indira) [A.I.C.C.(I)]

  1. . June 1980- Joint-Secretary, A.I.C.C. (I)
  2. . 1980-81 General-Secretary, A.I.C.C. (I)
  3. . 1980 Member, Rajya Sabha (2nd term)
  4. . 1982-83 Union Deputy Minister, Parliamentary Affairs; and Industry
  5. . 1982-84 Union Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs
  6. . 1986 Member, Rajya Sabha (3rd term)
  7. . 1988-89 Union Minister of State, Power
  8. . 1989 Elected to 9th Lok Sabha
  9. . Jan. 1990- Member, Committee on Subordinate Legislation
  10. . Aug. 1990 1990-91 Member, Committee on Public Undertakings Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of Energy
  11. . 1991 Re-elected to 10th Lok Sabha (2nd term)
  12. . 1991-92 Union Minister of State, Power and Non- Conventional Energy Sources (Independent Charge)
  13. . 1992-93 Union Minister of State, Power (Independent Charge)
  14. . 1993-94 Union Minister of State, Food (Independent Charge)
  15. . 1996 Re-elected to 11th Lok Sabha (3rd term)
  16. . 1996-97 Member, Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests
  17. . 1998 Re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha (4th term)
  18. . 1998-99 Member, Committee on Commerce and its Sub-Committee on Textiles Member, Consultative Committee, Ministry of FinanceSpecial

Other Information Advocate, Allahabad High Court; Secretary, Babu Inter College, Kopaganj, Azamgarh; attained first position in Distt. Debate Rally, 1954–56; President, (i) Shibli Degree College, Azamgarh,1959–60; and (ii) Students' Union, Gorakhpur University, 1962–63; nominated as Chairman, All India Sangharsh Samiti by Smt. Indira Gandhi.

  1. RSS-OTC...Kalpnath ji was a member of the RSS as youth and completed one year of OTC.


Born in a Bhumihar Brahmin family to Sri Abhay Narain Rai(was in the Singapore Police Constabulary) 4 January 1941, in Semari Jamalpur village of Mau district UP, Kalpnath Rai is credited of giving Mau the status of a district during his days as an MP from Ghosi.[1] His parents died early leaving the orphan to fend for his life at the early age of 8 with his paternal family plotting against him for economical reasons. Rai was married early to Late Shri Ram Rati Devi at the age of ten with whom he had 4 daughters and a son. It is the in-laws, family of Sw.Ramrati Devi, who protected him and spent for his education, food and shelter after which he graduated with a degree in Law. Another tragedy struck him early on in his life which turned out to be a turning point in his life where Sri Kalpnath rai lost his new born son as he couldn't reach the hospital on time due to unavailability of proper roads in his village as the region naturally being low-lying the land would be water logged and a menace to travel. This particular incident provided the fire in Sri Kalpnath Rai's heart to help him become a Leader of the Poor and an undefeated Parliamentarian for a quarter of a century plus, to help him construct top class quality roads in his Village and Constituency in Mau, with more flyovers and bridges than anywhere else in the country during that period.


He died on 6 August 1999, aged 58. Rai suffered a massive heart attack on Thursday night following which he was admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital where he died at 2:45 am. He is survived by his widow, a son and five daughters.[2]

Political career[edit]

During early years, as a Robust student political leader with revolutionary leadership skills in Gorakhpur University,all of 19 years of age he openly challenged Nehru and his policies after the China War in 1962 (ref. Bharatiya Chhatra Andolan pt.2 by Sri Shyam Krishan Pandey) causing the then Prime minister to call for shoot at sight orders against him and fellow students in the infamous Gorakhpur student shootout in 1962 in which Rais' best friend was shot,whose statue still stands tall at Gorakhpur university. The same leadership skills were again displayed by show of no-support to Indira Gandhi when she first came to power, after Rai joined Congress in 1974 at the behest in of Shri H.N Bahuguna and Mrs. Gandhi on the count that Mau (MauNathBhanjan) will be given separate district status from Azamgarh. After the creation of MAU, he intensified development procedures in the district bringing technology,industry,prosperity, trade and modern infrastructure to a part of India which has been known to be one of the most backward and poor in recent times. Also during his tenure as MP, the district was attributed to be very peaceful and with no communal violence even though the whole region of eastern uttar pradesh was and is communally tense.

He was Member of Parliament for a continued tenure of 25 years across party lines and in 1982 he was given 2 portfolios of Parliamentary affairs and Industry minister. His motives were always development-centric and people oriented. His affection for the people and the people's affection for him was shown in his last 2 elections when he was falsely implicated for corruption charges,the people cut across party and religious lines and voted for him to bring him back to power.

In 1993-1994 he was minister of state for food and became controversial due to the sugar scam involving his ministry. He was falsely jailed in connection with the scam but was later acquitted with no charge.

In 1997 he was wrongly sentenced to 10 years in prison with a fine of Rs 1 million by a Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court in Delhi, he was soon acquitted free of charge within 6months with the Honourable Judge Justice Verma stating that "if my son comes home after committing a murder and sleeps in my house without me knowing then am i responsible for the murder?". He was falsely convicted for the crime of harboring members of the Dawood Ibrahim gang and later acquitted without any charge. According to the CBI chargesheet, Kalpnath Rai, the then Federal Power Minister, had through his assistant S P Rai arranged accommodation for Subhash Thakur and V N Rai (Rai's nephew) at the guest houses of the National Thermal Power Corporation in Delhi and Bombay Suburban Electricity Supply at Mumbai around the time of the shootout at the JJ Hospital. He was soon acquitted after being proven innocent.Dawood's hitmen, who were convicted, were involved in the shootout. The bills for the NTPC rooms were paid by the corporation itself.

A frontrunner from Ghosi, Uttar Pradesh,Kalpanath Rai was an AICC General Secretary in the Indira Gandhi regime and a minister in the Rajiv gandhi and Narasimha Rao government. He was also one of the rare politicians to win a Lok Sabha election independently while in jail for the TADA case in which he was falsely accused.

Kalpanath Rai was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in 1974 and had two other terms in the same House. He was also elected to the Lok Sabha four times from Ghosi. In the last Lok Sabha, Rai was elected on a Samata Party ticket but he resigned from the party and rejoined the Congress.

Kalpanath Rai began his career in 1963 as general secretary of the Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha, UP. Rai, who did his M.A (English and Sociology) and LLB from Gorakhpur University, was a member of the CPP executive committee between 1974–76 and its general secretary in 1978.

Rai's stint as a union minister began in 1982 when he was made a minister of state in the Indira Gandhi government and continued till 1984. From June 1988 to December 1989, he was minister of state for Power and after being elected to the 10th Lok Sabha, he was again made minister of state for Power and non-conventional energy sources with independent charge.

In 1993–94 he was minister of state for food and became controversial due to the sugar scam involving his ministry. He was jailed in connection with the scam but was later acquitted free of charge.

In Ghosi, Kalpnath Rai was considered one of the most strong leaders. In 1991, he was one of the rare Congressmen who survived the mandal-mandir upheavals that uprooted the party in Uttar Pradesh; in 1996, when imprisoned under TADA, he won as an Independent from jail; in his last election he fought the elections from the Samata Party but still went on to win the elections. Kalpanath Rai had been highly active in the development and promotion of his home town Mau. Meanwhile, Rai is not averse to some theatre. Voice quivering with emotion, he made dramatic promises saying, "Jis maa ka doodh piya hai uski kasam khata hoon (I swear on my mother's milk).".Known for his blunt and colorful language he is famous for warning the then Prime Minister Rao in parliament that he will "strip him of his dhoti" as Rao's son had approached Rai on behalf of the sugar and alcohol lobbyists of India to reduce the price of molasses which would have been beneficial to the farmers of India rather than big business houses. Increased the daily wages of Food Corporation of India FCI workers to a high proportion that is unmatchable even today from which millions of workers have benefitted from.

PGCIL: Power Grid Corporation of India ltd., it was under Sri Kalpnath rai's leadership as Power Minister that "PowerGrid", one of the world's largest transmissions utilities was created.


  1. ^ "History of MAU". Article. Mau, UP. 
  2. ^ "Kalpnath Rai passes away". Newspaper. New Delhi. 1999-08-06.