Suraj Bhan

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Suraj Bhan
The Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes Dr. Suraj Bhan and the Chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes Shri Kanwar Singh briefing the Press on issues regarding reservation in Government.jpg
Dr. Suraj Bhan (right) with Shri Kanwar Singh
Chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes
In office
2004 - 2006
Succeeded byButa Singh
Governor of Himachal Pradesh
In office
23 November 2000 – 7 May 2003
Governor of Uttar Pradesh
In office
1998 - 2000
Governor of Bihar
In office
Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha
In office
Union Minister of Agriculture
In office
May 1996 - June 1996
Member of Parliament- Ambala (Haryana)
In office
Leader of Opposition of Haryana Assembly
In office
Revenue Minister (Haryana)
In office
Personal details
Born (1928-10-01) 1 October 1928 (age 91)
Died6 August 2006(2006-08-06) (aged 77)
Political partyBharatiya 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.

Personal Life[edit]

He was born on 1 October 1928 into Chamar caste in Mehlanwali, Yamuna Nagar district of Haryana and studied MA and LLB at Panjab University and Kurukshetra University.[1]

Political career[edit]

Suraj Bhan Banswal, started his public life as a volunteer of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.[2] . 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).[3]

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.


  1. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2003). India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India. Hurst. ISBN 978-1-85065-670-8.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Surendra Kishore (17 November 1999). "Bihar Governor sacks underage minister". Indian Express. Retrieved 2 June 2007.

External links[edit]