Dr. Suraj Bhan (right) with Shri Kanwar Singh
|Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes|
2004 - 2006
|Succeeded by||Buta Singh|
|Governor of Himachal Pradesh|
23 November 2000 – 7 May 2003
|Governor of Uttar Pradesh|
1998 - 2000
|Governor of Bihar|
|Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha|
|Union Minister of Agriculture|
May 1996 - June 1996
|Member of Parliament- Ambala (Haryana)|
|Leader of Opposition of Haryana Assembly|
|Revenue Minister (Haryana)|
|Born||1 October 1928|
|Died||6 August 2006(aged 77)|
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party|
Suraj Bhan (1 October 1928 – 6 August 2006) was a scheduled caste leader and an Indian politician from the Bharatiya Janata Party, who was elected to the Lok Sabha on four occasions, and also served as the Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, governor of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Bihar.
Suraj Bhan Banswal, started his public life as a volunteer of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. . He started his political career with the Bharatiya Jana Sangh which eventually became the Bharatiya Janata Party and dropped his last name "Banswal" after joining active politics. He represented Ambala parliamentary constituency of Haryana in the 4th (1967–1970), 6th (1977–1979), 7th (1979–1984) and the 11th Lok Sabhas (1996–1997). In 1987, he was elected to Haryana assembly and served as Revenue Minister in Devi Lal's government between 1987 and 1989. After the BJP broke alliance with Devi Lal's party, he served as Leader of Opposition in the Haryana assembly (1989–1990).
In 1996, he was named Agriculture minister in First Vajpayee Ministry after which he served as deputy speaker of the 11th Lok Sabha, during the United Front government (Jul 1996 to Feb 1997). He contested 1998 Lok Sabha elections, but lost to Aman Kumar Nagra of the BSP. Afterwards, he took over as Governor of Uttar Pradesh (Apr 1998 - Nov 2000), Himachal Pradesh (Nov 2000 - May 2003), and officiated as Governor of Bihar (1999).
In 2002 Dr Suraj Bhan also joined the race for the post of Vice-President of the country following re-thinking in the BJP over the candidature of former Rajasthan Chief Minister, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Certain senior Dalit leaders of the Congress unofficially conveyed that Mrs Sonia Gandhi had no objection to Dr Suraj Bhan's candidature.
In February 2004, he was appointed as Chairman of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes(SC/ST) Commission. He died of cardiac arrest following multiple organ failure on 6 August 2006 in New Delhi, while still continuing in the post of the Chairman of SC/ST Commission. He was aged 78.
- Jaffrelot, Christophe (2003). India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India. Hurst. ISBN 978-1-85065-670-8.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Surendra Kishore (17 November 1999). "Bihar Governor sacks underage minister". Indian Express. Retrieved 2 June 2007.
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