Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Chaudhary Charan Singh

“The true India resides in its villages” (Charan Singh)

Charan Singh, a true Gandhian, freedom fighter and patriot, was the fifth prime Minister of India serving from 28 July 1979 until 14 January 1980.

He was born in a poor Jat family, on 23rd December 1902, at Noorpur District of Uttar Pradesh. In 1928, after receiving a Masters degree in Arts and LLB, Charan Singh got himself enrolled as an advocate in Ghaziabad. In 1929, he shifted to Meerut and joined Congress as part of Independence Movement. In 1937, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly from Chhaprouli constituency of Uttar Pradesh. Being a staunch Gandhian, he was sent to jail several times during freedom struggle. 

In 1952, he became the Revenue Minister of Uttar Pradesh and took away the Zamindari system and brought about the land reform act. Charan Singh opposed several economic policies of Jawaharlal Nehru, then prime minister of Independent India. He left Congress in 1967 to form his independent party known as the Bharatiya Lok Dal. He became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh twice, in 1967, and later in 1970. During Emergency period, he was jailed by Indira Gandhi. In 1977, he served as Deputy Prime Minister of India under Morarji Desai's ministry. Later in 1979, with the support of just sixty four MPs, he was sworn in as the Prime Minister. But he could hold that post only for a short term since Indira Gandhi's congress party withdrew their support. Charan Singh holds the record of being the only Prime Minister of India who did not face the Lok Sabha even for a single day. Thereafter he headed the Opposition until his death on May 29,1987. His memorial in New Delhi is named as Kisan Ghat due to his association and support for farming communities in North India.

Charan Singh authored several books including 'Abolition of Zamindari', 'Co-operative Farming X-rayed', 'India's Poverty and its Solution', 'Peasant Proprietorship or Land to the Workers' and 'Prevention of Division of Holdings below a Certain Minimum'.

(Updated on 3/6/2014)