Charan Singh

Chaudhary Charan Singh (23 December 1902 – 29 May 1987) served as the 5th Prime Minister of India between 28 July 1979 and 14 January 1980. Historians and people alike frequently refer to him as the 'champion of India's peasants.'[1]

Charan Singh was born on 23 December 1902 in a rural peasant Jat family of village Noorpur, District Hapur (Erstwhile District Meerut), Uttar Pradesh (Erstwhile United Provinces of Agra and Oudh).[2] Charan Singh entered politics as part of the Independence Movement motivated by Mohandas Gandhi. He was active from 1931 in the Ghaziabad District Arya Samaj as well as the Meerut District Indian National Congress for which he was jailed twice by the British. Before independence, as a member of Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces elected in 1937, he took a deep interest in the laws that were detrimental to the village economy and he slowly built his ideological and practical stand against the exploitation of tillers of the land by landlords.

Between 1952 and 1967, he was one of "three principal leaders in Congress state politics." He became particularly notable in Uttar Pradesh from the 1950s for drafting and ensuring the passage of what were then the most revolutionary land reform laws in any state in India under the tutelage of the then Chief Minister Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant; first as Parliamentary Secretary and then as Revenue Minister responsible for Land Reforms. He became visible on the national stage from 1959 when he publicly opposed the unquestioned leader and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's socialistic and collectivist land policies in the Nagpur Congress Session. Though his position in the faction-ridden UP Congress was weakened, this was a point when the middle peasant communities across castes in North India began looking up to him as their spokesperson and later as their unquestioned leader. Singh stood for tight government spending, enforced consequences for corrupt officers, and advocated a "firm hand in dealing with the demands of government employees for increased wages and dearness allowances." It is also worth noting that within the factional UP Congress, his ability to articulate his clear policies and values made him stand out from his colleagues. Following this period, Charan Singh defected from the Congress on 1 April 1967, joined the opposition party, and became the first non-Congress chief minister of UP.[3] This was a period when non-Congress governments were a strong force in India from 1967–1971.

As leader of the Bharatiya Lok Dal, a major constituent of the Janata coalition, he was disappointed in his ambition to become Prime Minister in 1977 by Jayaprakash Narayan's choice of Morarji Desai, not to seek power for himself but to enable him to implement his revolutionary economic programs in the interest of the rural economy.

During 1977 Lok Sabha Elections, the fragmented opposition united a few months before the elections under the Janata Party banner, for which Chaudhary Charan Singh had been struggling almost single-handedly since 1974. It was because of the efforts of Raj Narain that he became Prime Minister in the year 1979 though Raj Narain was Chairman of Janata Party-Secular and assured Charan Singh of elevating him as Prime Minister, the way he helped him to become Chief Minister in the year 1967 in Uttar Pradesh. However, he resigned after just 24 weeks in office when Indira Gandhi's Congress Party withdrew support to the government. Charan Singh said he resigned because he was not ready to be blackmailed into withdrawing Indira Gandhi's emergency-related court cases.[4] Fresh elections were held six months later. Charan Singh continued to lead the Lok Dal in opposition till his death in 1987.

Chaudhary Charan Singh
Charan Singh
Singh on a 1990 stamp of India
5th Prime Minister of India
In office
28 July 1979 – 14 January 1980
PresidentNeelam Sanjiva Reddy
DeputyYashwantrao Chavan
Preceded byMorarji Desai
Succeeded byIndira Gandhi
Minister of Finance
In office
24 January 1979 – 28 July 1979
Prime MinisterMorarji Desai
Preceded byHaribhai M. Patel
Succeeded byHemvati Nandan Bahuguna
3rd Deputy Prime Minister of India
In office
24 March 1977 – 28 July 1979
Serving with Jagjivan Ram
Prime MinisterMorarji Desai
Preceded byMorarji Desai
Succeeded byYashwantrao Chavan
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
24 March 1977 – 1 July 1978
Prime MinisterMorarji Desai
Preceded byKasu Brahmananda Reddy
Succeeded byMorarji Desai
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
In office
3 April 1967 – 25 February 1968
GovernorBiswanath Das
Bezawada Gopala Reddy
Preceded byChandra Bhanu Gupta
Succeeded byPresident's rule
In office
18 February 1970 – 1 October 1970
GovernorBezawada Gopala Reddy
Preceded byChandra Bhanu Gupta
Succeeded byPresident's rule
Personal details
Chaudhary Charan Singh

23 December 1902
Noorpur, United Provinces, British India
(now in Uttar Pradesh, India)
Died29 May 1987 (aged 84)
New Delhi, India
Political partyJanata Party (Secular) (1979–1987)
Other political
Indian National Congress (Before 1967)
Bharatiya Lok Dal (1967–1977)
Janata Party (1977–1980)
Lokdal (1980–1987)
Spouse(s)Gayatri Devi (died in 2002)
Children6; including Ajit Singh
Alma materAgra University

Early years – pre-Independence India

Charan Singh's ancestor was a prominent leader of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Raja Nahar Singh of Ballabhgarh, Greater Panjab (in present-day Haryana). Nahar Singh was sent to the gallows in Chandni Chowk, Delhi. In order to escape the oppression from the British Government following their defeat, the Maharaja's followers, including Charan Singh's grandfather moved eastward to district Bulandshaher in Uttar Pradesh.

Charan Singh was born on 23 December 1902 in the village village Noorpur, District Hapur (Erstwhile District Meerut), Uttar Pradesh (Erstwhile United Provinces of Agra and Oudh). He was a good student, and received a Master of Arts (MA) degree in 1925 and a law degree in 1926 from Agra University. He started practice as a civil lawyer at Ghaziabad in 1928.

In February 1937 he was elected from the constituency of Chhaprauli (Baghpat) to the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces at the age of 34. In 1938 he introduced an Agricultural Produce Market Bill in the Assembly which was published in the issues of The Hindustan Times of Delhi dated 31 March 1938. The Bill was intended to safeguard the interests of the farmers against the rapacity of traders. The Bill was adopted by most of the States in India, Punjab being the first state to do so in 1940.

Charan Singh followed Mahatma Gandhi in non-violent struggle for independence from the British Government, and was imprisoned several times. In 1930, he was sent to jail for 6 months by the British for contravention of the salt laws. He was jailed again for one year in November 1940 for individual Satyagraha movement. In August 1942 he was jailed again by the British under DIR and released in November 1943.

Independent India

Charan Singh opposed Jawaharlal Nehru on his Soviet-style economic reforms, and he helped transform the agricultural economy of North India after 1947. Charan Singh was of the opinion that cooperative farms would not succeed in India. Being a son of a farmer, Charan Singh opined that the right of ownership was important to the farmer in remaining a cultivator. He wanted to preserve and stabilize a system of peasant proprietorship.[3] Charan Singh's political career suffered due to his open criticism of Nehru's economic policy.

Charan Singh left the Congress party in 1967, and formed his own political party, Bharatiya Kranti Dal. With the help and support of Raj Narain and Ram Manohar Lohia, he became Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1967, and later in 1970. In 1975, he was jailed again, but this time by then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, daughter of his former rival Nehru. She had declared the state of emergency and jailed all her political opponents. In the 1977 general elections, the Indian populace voted her out, and the opposition party, of which Chaudhary Charan Singh was a senior leader came into power. He served as Deputy Prime Minister,Home Minister and Finance minister in the Janata government headed by Morarji Desai.

Personal life

Singh had six children with wife Gayatri Devi. His son Ajit Singh is currently the president of a political party Rashtriya Lok Dal and a former Union Minister and a many times Member of Parliament. Ajit Singh's son Jayant Chaudhary was elected to 15th Lok Sabha from Mathura, which he lost to Hema Malini in the election of 2014.

Singh suffered a stroke on 29 November 1985. He could not completely recover from the condition despite being treated the following March at a hospital in the US. At 11:35 p.m. (IST) on 28 May 1987 doctors were called for to his residence in New Delhi, after his respiration was found "unsteady". Efforts to revive him failed and was declared dead at 2:35 a.m. (IST) the following morning after a "cardiovascular collapse".[5]


Since his death, many who knew Singh have ensured his life and work are remembered positively. These perceptions enforce the notion that he was of a "higher category of leaders" in the areas of "intellect, personal integrity, and . . . coherence of his economic and social thought."[3] His association with causes dear to farming communities in India caused his memorial in New Delhi to be named Kisan Ghat (in Hindi, Kisan is the word for farmer). His birthday on 23 December is celebrated as Kisan Diwas in India. A commemorative postage stamp was issued by the government of India on the third death anniversary (29 May 1990) of Charan Singh.

The Amausi Airport in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh was renamed Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport after him, and the University of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, India, was also named Chaudhary Charan Singh University in his honour. A college in Etawah district, Chaudhary Charan Singh Post Graduate College is also named after him. A hospital in Bulandshahr district is named after him.


  • Joint Farming X-rayed (1959)
  • India's Economic Policy – The Gandhian Blueprint (1978)
  • Economic Nightmare of India: Its Cause and Cure (1981)
  • Abolition of Zamindari
  • Co-operative Farming X-rayed
  • Peasant Proprietorship or Land to the Workers
  • Prevention of Division of Holdings Below a Certain Minimum


  1. ^ Byres, Terence J. (1 January 1988). "Charan Singh, 1902–87: An assessment". The Journal of Peasant Studies. 15 (2): 139–189. doi:10.1080/03066158808438356.
  2. ^ The Churchill Centre (2002). "India: Making headway with the critics". The Churchill Centre. Archived from the original on 23 June 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2006.
  3. ^ a b c Brass, Paul R. (1993). "Chaudhuri Charan Singh: An Indian Political Life". Economic and Political Weekly. 28 (39): 2087–2090. JSTOR 4400204.
  4. ^ "Charan singh resigns". The Glasgow Herald. 21 August 1979. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Charan Singh Dead". The Indian Express. 30 May 1987. Retrieved 26 February 2018.

Further reading

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Chandra Bhanu Gupta
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Succeeded by
Chandra Bhanu Gupta
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Succeeded by
Tribhuvan Narain Singh
Preceded by
Morarji Desai
Deputy Prime Minister of India
Served alongside: Jagjivan Ram
Succeeded by
Yashwantrao Chavan
Preceded by
Kasu Brahmananda Reddy
Minister of Home Affairs
Succeeded by
Morarji Desai
Preceded by
Haribhai Patel
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna
Preceded by
Morarji Desai
Prime Minister of India
Succeeded by
Indira Gandhi
Chairperson of the Planning Commission
1977 Indian general election in Tamil Nadu

The Indian general election, 1977 polls in Tamil Nadu were held for 39 seats in the state. The result was a big victory for Indian National Congress under Indira Gandhi and its allies Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Communist Party of India winning 34 seats, while Janata Party and its allies Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Indian National Congress (Organisation) won only 5 seats. The Janata Party ended up winning this election. After the election, the ADK ended up supporting the Janata Party under Morarji Desai. In 1979, ADK continued to support Janata Party, by supporting Charan Singh, which resulted in the appointment of two ADK cabinet members.

1980 Indian general election

India held general elections to the 7th Lok Sabha in January 1980. The Janata Party alliance came into power after the elections to the 6th Lok Sabha held in 1977, riding the public anger against the Congress and the Emergency but its position was weak. The loose coalition barely held on to a majority with only 295 seats in the Lok Sabha and never quite had a firm grip on power.

Bharatiya Lok Dal leader Charan Singh and Jagjivan Ram, who had quit the Congress, were members of the Janata alliance but they were at loggerheads with Prime Minister Morarji Desai. The tribunals the government had set up to investigate human rights abuses during the Emergency appeared vindictive and a witch-hunt against Congress leader Indira Gandhi, who lost no opportunity of portraying herself as a harassed woman.

Finally, the Janata Party, an amalgam of socialists and nationalists, split in 1979 when several coalition members such as the Bharatiya Lok Dal plus several members of the erstwhile Socialist Party withdrew support to the government. Subsequently, Desai lost a trust vote in parliament and resigned. Charan Singh, who had retained some partners of the Janata alliance, was sworn in as Prime Minister in June 1979. Congress promised to support Singh in parliament but later backed out just two days before the Govt was scheduled to prove its majority on the floor of Lok Sabha. Charan Singh, forced to resign, called for elections in January 1980 and is the only Prime Minister of India never to have faced parliament. In the run up to the general elections, Indira Gandhi's leadership faced a formidable political challenge from a galaxy of regional satraps and prominent leaders of Janta party like Satyendra Narayan Sinha and Karpuri Thakur in Bihar, Ramakrishna Hegde in Karnataka, Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra, Devi Lal in Haryana & Biju Patnaik in Orissa. However, internal feud between Janata Party leaders and the political instability in the country worked in favour of Indira Gandhi's Congress (I), that reminded voters of the strong government of Indira Gandhi during campaigning.

In the ensuing elections, the Congress (I) won 353 Lok Sabha seats in January 1980 and the Janata Party, or what remained of the alliance, won only 31 seats, whereas Charan Singh's Janata Party (Secular) won 41 seats. The Janata Party alliance continued to split over the subsequent years but it had recorded in 1977 a few important landmarks in the political history of India: it was the first coalition to govern India, and proved that the Congress could be defeated.

Bharatiya Kranti Dal

Bharatiya Kranti Dal was a political party in India, formed by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Charan Singh. The party was founded at a meeting in Lucknow in October 1967. After the 1977 general election, the party merged into the Janata Party.

Bharatiya Lok Dal

Bharatiya Lok Dal ("Indian Peoples' Party") was a political party in India. The BLD or simply BL was formed at the end of 1974 through the fusion of seven parties opposed to the rule of Indira Gandhi, including the Swatantra Party, the Utkal Congress, the Bharatiya Kranti Dal, and the Socialist Party. The leader of the BLD was Charan Singh.

In 1977, the BLD combined with the Jan Sangh and the Indian National Congress (Organization) to form the Janata Party. The newly formed Janata Party contested the 1977 elections on the BLD symbol and formed independent India's first government not ruled by the Indian National Congress.

Subsequently, Ajit Singh (son of Charan Singh) founded the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).Now BLD is led by Chaudhary Sunil Singh of Aligarh

Charan Singh (guru)

Charan Singh (1916–1990), Satguru and head of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, was named successor in 1951 by Jagat Singh. He served the Beas sangat for almost four decades, until his death in 1990 at the age of 73. Before his appointment he practiced law in Hisar and Sirsa, India. He was an initiate of Sawan Singh, his paternal grandfather and predecessor of Jagat Singh. Charan Singh assigned the duties of successor and guru to Gurinder Singh, his initiate.

Charan Singh ministry

Chaudhary Charan Singh was sworn in as Prime Minister of India on 28 July 1979.

Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport

Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport (IATA: LKO, ICAO: VILK) is an international airport serving Lucknow, the capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is situated in the Amausi area of the city, and was earlier known as Amausi Airport before being renamed after Chaudhary Charan Singh, the fifth prime minister of India.

Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University

Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University is a public funded agricultural university located at Hisar in the Indian state of Haryana. It is one of the biggest agricultural universities in Asia. The university has 8645 acres of land (around 7219 acres at main campus, 1426 acres at outstations). It is named after India's seventh Prime Minister, Chaudhary Charan Singh.It was initially a satellite campus of Punjab Agricultural University at Hisar. It was established as a university by Haryana and Punjab Agricultural Universities Act, ratified 2 February 1970 and was named as Haryana Agricultural University. So basically it is considered as the first established university of state Haryana. On 31 October 1991, it was renamed as Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University. A. L. Fletcher was the first vice-chancellor of the university.The university publishes the largest number of research papers among agricultural universities in India. It won the Indian Council of Agricultural Research's Award for the Best Institute in 1997 and in 2017. It contributed significantly to Green Revolution and White Revolution in India.

Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport metro station

The Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport Metro Station is located on the North-South Corridor of the Lucknow Metro.

Chaudhary Charan Singh Post Graduate College

Chaudhary Charan Singh Post Graduate College is a government aided private college in Heonra-Saifai, Etawah. It was established as Chaudhary Charan Singh Degree College by Mulayam Singh Yadav in 1983. It is affiliated to Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj University (formerly Kanpur University) and offers under-graduate and post-graduate courses in science, arts, commerce, agriculture, computer application, management, education and physical education.It has been awarded "grade A" by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council.

Chaudhary Charan Singh University

Chaudhary Charan Singh University (CCS University), formerly Meerut University, is a public state university located in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India. The university was established in 1965. It was later renamed to its current name after Chaudhary Charan Singh, former Prime minister of India. The university celebrated its silver jubilee in 1991.

Shri Ram Naik is the current vice-chancellor of the university.

Janata Party

The Janata Party (JNP, translation: People's Party) was an amalgam of Indian political parties opposed to the Emergency that was imposed between 1975 and 1977 by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of the Indian National Congress. In the 1977 general election, the party defeated the Congress and Janata leader Morarji Desai became the first non-Congress prime minister in independent modern India's history.

Raj Narain, a socialist leader, had filed a legal writ alleging electoral malpractice against Indira Gandhi in 1971. On 12 June 1975, Allahabad High Court found her guilty of using corrupt electoral practices in her 1971 election victory over Narain in the Rae Bareli constituency. She was barred from contesting any election for the next six years. Economic problems, corruption and the conviction of Gandhi led to widespread protests against the Congress (R) government, which responded by imposing a State of Emergency. The rationale was that of preserving national security. However, the government introduced press censorship, postponed elections and banned strikes and rallies. Opposition leaders such as Biju Patnaik, Jayaprakash Narayan, Raj Narain, Satyendra Narayan Sinha, Jivatram Kripalani, Ramnandan Mishra and Morarji Desai were imprisoned, along with thousands of other political activists. When the State of Emergency was lifted and new elections called in 1977, opposition political parties such as the Congress (O), Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Bharatiya Lok Dal as well as defectors from the Congress (R) joined to form the Janata party, which won a sweeping majority in the Indian Parliament. Narain defeated Gandhi at Rae Bareli in those elections.

The new Janata-led government reversed many Emergency-era decrees and opened official investigations into Emergency-era abuses. Although several major foreign policy and economic reforms were attempted, continuous in-fighting and ideological differences made the Janata government unable to effectively address national problems. By mid-1979, Prime Minister Morarji Desai was forced to resign and his successor Chaudhary Charan Singh failed to sustain a parliamentary majority as alliance partners withdrew support. Popular disenchantment with the political in-fighting and ineffective government led to the resurgence of Gandhi and her new Congress (I) party, which won the general election called in 1980. Although the original Janata Party fragmented and dissolved, modern political parties continue to invoke its legacy. In August 2013, the party was merged with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Janata Party (Secular)

The Janata Party (Secular) (Hindi: जनता पार्टी (धर्मनिरपेक्ष)) was an Indian political party founded by Raj Narain in July, 1979. On 16 July 1979 Charan Singh assumed its leadership and became the Prime Minister of India on 28 July 1979 with the support of the Indian National Congress (O) but resigned on 20 August 1979 after their withdrawal of support. The Janata Party led by Charan Singh was later renamed as Lok Dal before the Indian general election, 1980 but officially contested in the elections under its previous name. In the elections for the 7th Lok Sabha in 1980, the party won 41 seats and received 9.39% of the total votes polled.

List of educational institutions in Meerut district

Meerut district is an education hub in western Uttar Pradesh, India. It has 4 universities, 80 technical-professional colleges, 150 academic colleges, and 2 medical colleges. The district also has over 380 schools.

List of things named after Prime Ministers of India

The Prime Minister of India is the head of government of India. This is a list of things named after the Prime Ministers of India.


Lokdal is an Indian political party based on agriculture policies, founded by former prime minister of India Charan Singh. Its current president is Ch. Sunil Singh

Meerut College

Meerut College is a state-funded college in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, India. The college is affiliated to Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut. The college was established in 1892 and has a campus of 100 acres (0.40 km2).

Minister of Finance (India)

The Minister of Finance (or simply, Finance Minister) is the head of the Ministry of Finance of the Government of India. One of the senior-most offices in the Union Cabinet, the finance minister is responsible for the fiscal policy of the government. As part of this, a key duty of the Finance Minister is to present the annual Union Budget in Parliament, which details the government's plan for taxation and spending in the coming financial year. Through the Budget, the finance minister also outlines the allocations to different ministries and departments. Occasionally, he is assisted by the Minister of State for Finance and the lower-ranked Deputy Minister of Finance.

The first Finance Minister of independent India was R. K. Shanmukham Chetty, who also presented its first Budget. The incumbent Arun Jaitley, of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has held office since 26 May 2014. As of September 2017, Morarji Desai has presented 10 budgets which is the highest followed by P Chidambaram's 9 and Pranab Mukherjee's 8. Yashwant Sinha, Yashwantrao Chavan and C.D. Deshmukh have presented 7 budgets each while Manmohan Singh and T.T. Krishnamachari have presented 6 budgets. As of February 2018, four Finance Ministers have gone on to become the Prime Minister who are: Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, V. P. Singh and Manmohan Singh.

National Security Act (India)

The National Security Act of 1980 is an act of the Indian Parliament promulgated on 23 September, 1980 whose purpose is "to provide for preventive detention in certain cases and for matters connected therewith". The act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It Contains 18 sections. This act empowers the Central Government and State Governments to detain a person to prevent him/her from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of India, the relations of India with foreign countries, the maintenance of public order, or the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do. The act also gives power to the governments to detain a foreigner in a view to regulate his presence or expel from the country. The act was passed in 1980 during the Indira Gandhi Government.As per a 1993 report 72.3 percent of 3783 people under the law were later released due to lack of evidence.

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