Thursday, August 18, 2022

Viswanath Prathap Singh (VP Singh)

I would be a disaster as a prime minister. (V P Singh)

Born in 25 June 1931 in a Rajput Family of Manda Kingdom in Allahabad, Vishwanath Pratap Singh alias VP Singh was a centre figure in Indian politics. He was the seventh Prime Minister of India.

During his studies at Pune University, he became active in politics and later elected as a member of Legislative Assembly in 1969 from Indian National Congress. In 1971, he won election to Lok Sabha and became deputy Minister of Commerce in 1974. He served as the Minister of Commerce during the period of 197677.

In 1980, he had been appointed as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh by then prime minister Indira Gandhi. In 1984, during the tenure of Rajiv Gandhi he was invited to cabinet as Finance Minsiter. During his ministry, V P Singh Managed to make a gradual relaxation of the License Raj and reduction of gold smuggling.

In 1987, due to the conspiracy over Bofors weapon deal, V P singh was dismissed from cabinet and in response, he resigned his membership in Indian National Congress. Thereafter Singh formed an opposition party named Jan Morcha associating with Arun Nehru and Arif Mohammad Khan. He had re-elected to Lok Sabha and later V P singh brought together all other opposition parties to form Janata Dal and became the president of it.They made an alliance with regional parties including the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Telugu Desam Party, and Asom Gana Parishad to form National Front and VP Singh became the convenior. In 1989 election, National Front earned majority and VP singh sworn in as the seventh prime minister of India on December 2, 1989.

Singh could continue his ministry for less than a year. But during this time he took efforts to prevent plans of Pakistan under Benazir Bhutto to start a border war with India. He visited golden temple in Amritsar to ask public forgiveness for Operation Blue Star. Later in 1990, during the Ram Janma Bhumi agitation, Bharathiya Janata Party president L K Advani toured Northern India to gather support. Before he could reach ayodhya, VP singh ordered to arrest Advani on charges of spreading communial violence and disturbing peace. This resulted in withdrewal of Bharathiya Janata Party's support from National front causing the resignation of VP on November 7, 1990.

In 1991, he retired from active politics and start touring in various countries with the motto of speaking about matters related to social injustice. He also utilize this time for popularizing his paintings. In 1996, United Front won the general elections and VP singh had been proposed as the post prime minister but he declined it. In 1998, he was diagnosed by cancer and hence reduced his public appearences. But in 2006, he return to active politics and resumed his party Jan Morcha. In 2009 it has been renamed as National Jan Morcha and merged with Indian National Congress.