Charan Singh

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For other people named Charan Singh, see Charan Singh (disambiguation).
Chaudhary Charan Singh
चौधरी चरण सिंह
Charan Singh

Charan Singh in 1978
5th Prime Minister of India
In office
28 July 1979 – 14 January 1980
President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
Deputy Yashwantrao Chavan
Preceded by Morarji Desai
Succeeded by Indira Gandhi
Minister of Finance
In office
24 January 1979 – 28 July 1979
Prime Minister Morarji Desai
Preceded by Haribhai Patel
Succeeded by Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna
Deputy Prime Minister of India
In office
24 March 1977 – 28 July 1979
Serving with Jagjivan Ram
Prime Minister Morarji Desai
Preceded by Morarji Desai
Succeeded by Yashwantrao Chavan
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
24 March 1977 – 1 July 1978
Prime Minister Morarji Desai
Preceded by Kasu Brahmananda Reddy
Succeeded by Morarji Desai
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
In office
3 April 1967 – 25 February 1968
Governor Biswanath Das
Bezawada Gopala Reddy
Preceded by Chandra Bhanu Gupta
Succeeded by President’s rule
In office
18 February 1970 – 1 October 1970
Governor Bezawada Gopala Reddy
Preceded by Chandra Bhanu Gupta
Succeeded by President’s rule
Personal details
Born Chaudhary Charan Singh
23 December 1902
Noorpur, United Provinces,British India

(now in Uttar Pradesh, India)

Died 29 May 1987 (aged 84)
Political party Janata Party (Secular) (1979–1987)
Other political
Indian National Congress(Before 1967)
Bharatiya Lok Dal (1967–1977)
Janata Party (1977–1979)
Spouse(s) Gayatri Devi (died in 2002)
Children Satya Wati, Ved Wati, Gyan Wati, Saroj Verma, Ajit Singh, Sharda Singh
Alma mater Agra University
Religion Hinduism

Chaudhary Charan Singh (23 December 1902 – 29 May 1987) was the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, serving from 28 July 1979 until 14 January 1980. The Chaudhary Charan Singh Archives is the authoritative and open source of information on his life and times.

Charan Singh was born in a small peasant Jat[1][2] family (tenants to the local Zamindari of Kuchesar) in 1902 in village Noorpur of Hapur District in Uttar Pradesh [3][4] Charan Singh entered politics as part of 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 part of the 1937 United Provinces Assembly, he took deep interest in the state of 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.

He became particularly notable in Uttar Pradesh since 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 had the strength of conviction to publicly oppose 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 in a way the starting point of the middle peasant communities across castes in North India looking up to him as their spokesperson and later as their unquestioned leader.

The 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 implement his revolutionary economic programs in the interest of the rural economy. Unfortunately, few amongst his rural based part had the intellectual heft to fully comprehend his wide ranging agenda to remake Indian society and economy, and this weakness dogged him his entire career specially in Delhi. Urban intellectuals were mostly beholden to either the communist / socialist models, or were neo-liberal and capitalist and hence looked askance at his uniquely Indian solution.

During 1977 Lok Sabha Elections, the fragmented opposition united a few months before the elections under the Janata Party banner, for which Ch Charan Singh had been struggling almost single handedly since 1974 when the Congress rigged the state elections in Uttar Pradesh in their favor. It was because of efforts of Raj Narain he later 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 days in office since 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.[5]

Chaudhary Charan Singh’s government did not face the Lok Sabha during his brief tenure as the Indian National Congress withdrew their support from his Government as he refused to agree to the terms of the Congress to protect Mrs Indira Gandhi and her associates from prosecution under the laws of the land. Charan Singh resigned[5] and fresh elections were held six months later. He continued to lead the Lok Dal in opposition till his death in 1987.

Early years – pre-Independence India[edit]

Charan Singh’s ancestor was the prominent leader of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Raja Nahar Singh of Ballabhgarh (in present-day Haryana). Maharaja 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 of Noorpur, Hapur, Uttar Pradesh. He was a good student, and received a Masters of Arts (MA) degree in 1925 and Law degree in 1926 from Agra University. He started practice as a Civil Lawyer at Ghaziabad in 1928.

In February 1937 he was elected Chhaprauli (Baghpat) to the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh (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 the 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[edit]

Charan Singh opposed Jawaharlal Nehru on his Soviet-style economic reform. 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. 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 the1977 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 and Home Minister in theJanata government headed by Morarji Desai.

Charan Singh died on 29 May 1987, survived by his wife Gayatri Devi (who died in 2002) and six children.

Personal life[edit]

He 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.


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.); and his birthday on 23 December is celebrated as Kisan Diwas in Uttar Pradesh.

The Amausi Airport in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh is called as Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport after him, and the University of Meerut city in Uttar Pradesh, India, was also named Chaudhary Charan Singh Universityin his honour. A college in Etawah district, Chaudhary Charan Singh Post Graduate College, Heonra-Saifai is also named after him.


  • Joint Farming X-rayed (1959)
  • Economic Nightmare of India: Its Cause and Cure (1981)
  • India’s Economic Policy – The Gandhian Blueprint (1978)
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    Charan Singh
    Former Prime Minister of India
    Chaudhary Charan Singh was the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, serving from 28 July 1979 until 14 January 1980. The Chaudhary Charan Singh Archives is the authoritative and open source of information on his life and times. Wikipedia
    Born: December 23, 1902, Noorpur, Uttar Pradesh
    Died: May 29, 1987, New Delhi
    Morarji Desai
    Morarji Desai
    Ajit Singh is Charan Singh's son.
    Ajit Singh
    Indira Gandhi
    Indira Gandhi
    Jayant Chaudhary is Charan Singh's grandson.
    Jayant Chaudhary
    V. P. Singh
    V. P. Singh
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    Chaudhary Charan Singh University (Public university in Meerut, India)
    Notable alumni: Deepti Bhatnagar, Kumar Vishwas, Arun Govil
    Headquarters: Meerut
    Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra – From your Internet address – Use precise location
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