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Bhairon Singh Shekhawat ( भैरों सिंह शेखावत)
(23 October 1923 – 15 May 2010) was the 11th Vice-President of India. He served in that position from August 2002, when he was elected to a five-year term by the electoral college following the death of Krishan Kant. He served as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan three times, from 1977 to 1980, 1990 to 1992 and 1993 to 1998.
His father was Shri Devi Singh Shekhawat and his mother was Shrimati Banne Kanwar. He was born in the village of Khachariawas in the district of Sikar in Rajasthan. He was married to Shrimati Suraj Kanwar and they had a daughter Shrimati Ratan Kanwar. She is married to the senior B.J.P leader Narpat Singh Rajvi and they have 3 children - a daughter, Mumal Rajvi, and 2 sons, Vikramaditya Singh Rajvi and Abhimanyu Singh Rajvi.
After the death of Bhairon Singh Shekhawat his 'pagh' was given to his elder grandson Vikramaditya Singh Rajvi(Indian adoption) by Mrs. Suraj Kanwar Shekhawat. While Abhimanyu is taken as Shekhawat's political heir and a young face of the BJP in Rajasthan.
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat completed high school but was unable to complete college due to his father's death. He had to support his family. He worked as a farmer and a sub-inspector of police. His website lists his favorite pastimes as reading, interacting with people and extensively touring the State and other parts of the nation.
"Rajasthan ka ek hi Singh" (The only lion of Rajasthan) or "Babosa" (Head of the family of Rajasthan), Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, entered politics in 1952. He was undoubtedly the most popular politician in Rajasthan ever. He was also one of the tallest leaders of independent India. Until 1977, the Indian National Congress won elections in majority of the states in India. Shekhawat always posed a threat to the Congress Party in Rajasthan. In the 1967 elections, the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (Shekhawat's Party) and the Swatantra Party alliance reached near majority but couldn't form a government. But in the Janata wave in the year 1977, Shekhawat won with a thunderous landslide victory bagging 151 of 200 seats. After the split in the year 1980, Shekhawat decided to join the Bhartiya Janata Party with a host of his supporters. The Indian National Congress won the 1980 elections due to the split of opposition votes. During the Indira wave in 1984, again BJP lost the election heavily. The Congress managed to win 114 out of the 200 seats in Rajasthan. The opposition was divided, otherwise Shekhawat could have made history. But he did make history later on, in the 1989 elections when the BJP-Janata Dalalliance won all the 25 seats in the Lok Sabha from Rajasthan and won 140 seats in the assembly polls that followed. Shekhawat once again became Chief Minister of Rajasthan. In the next elections, after the split in the alliance, Shekhawat led the BJP to be the single largest party winning 96 seats. Three BJP-supported independents also won taking the tally to 99. Many independents supported the BJP and its final tally was 116. The Congress did its best to stop Shekhawat from forming the government. But due to the support of independents, Shekhawat was able to form the government. In the next elections, in the year 1998, the Shekhawat government lost due to the onion price rise issue. But the BJP bounced back in the Lok Sabha elections in 1999, just one year after the assembly polls. BJP won 16 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats from Rajasthan. Shekhawat was elected as the Vice President of India in 2002, when he defeated the opposition candidate, Sushil Kumar Shinde by a margin of 149 votes out of the 750 votes polled.
In July 2007, Shekhawat fought the Presidential election as an independent candidate backed by National Democratic Alliance as a popular Presidential candidate next to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam; but lost to the United Progressive Alliance-Left backed candidate Pratibha Patil. Following his defeat, Shekhawat resigned from the post of Vice-President on 21 July 2007.
AdministrationBhairon Singh Shekhawat is by far one of the few politicians known for their administrative skills. Shekhawat started the "Antyoday Yojna" or the scheme for the rise of the poorest of the poor. World Bank's Chairman Robert McNamara hailed Shekhawat as the Rockefeller of India. Shekhawat was also known for his control over bureaucracy and the police. He is responsible for the rise of literacy in Rajasthan. He is also hailed as the father of Industrialization of Rajasthan. Shekhawat's thoughts and policies led to the introduction of Heritage, Wildlife and Village tourism in Rajasthan. He was also lauded by both, national and international leaders for his historic conduct of the Rajya Sabha (The Council of States).
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat fell ill due to cancer and old age related problems, he went under regular treatment in different hospitals of India. He died on May 15, 2010 at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur. He was cremated the next day, at a plot of land provided by the government of Rajasthan, where his memorial will now be built. His funeral procession was attended by hundreds of thousands of people and was termed as "Historic Farewell" by the local news papers. His elder grandson Vikramaditya Singh Rajvi lit his funeral pyre along with his younger brother Abhimanyu Singh Rajvi.
His funeral was attented by all the big names of Indian politics like Hamid Ansari,APJ Abdul Kalam,Lal Krishna Advani,Sharad Pawar,Narendra Modi,Prakash Singh Badal,Shivraj Singh Chauhan,Raman Singh,Ramesh Pokhriyal,Sushma Swaraj,Arun Jaitley,Om Prakash Chautala,Nitin Gadkari,Rajnath Singh,Digvijay Singh,Ashok Gehlot,Vasundhara Raje all the ministers of Rajasthan and most of the MLA's of Rajasthan amongst many more from all the parts of the country.
In the prayer meeting held at Mr.Shekhawat's house in New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Shelia Dixit and MPShatrugan Sinha were some prominent leaders who attended.
- 1952–72 Member, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
- 1974–77 Member, Rajya Sabha (Madhya Pradesh)
- 1977–2002 Member, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
- 22 June 1977–16 February 1980 Chief Minister of Rajasthan
- 1980–90 Leader of the Opposition, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
- 4 March 1990–15 December 1992 Chief Minister of Rajasthan (second term)
- 4 December 1993–29 November 1998 Chief Minister of Rajasthan (third term)
- December 1998–August 2002 Leader of the Opposition, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
- 19 August 2002–21 July 2007 Vice-President of India and ex officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha
|Bhairon Singh Shekhawat|
भैरों सिंह शेखावत
|Vice President of India|
19 August 2002 – 21 July 2007
|Preceded by||Krishan Kant|
|Succeeded by||Mohammad Hamid Ansari|
|Chief Minister of Rajasthan|
4 December 1993 – 29 November 1998
|Governor||Bali Ram Bhagat|
Navrang Lal Tibrewal (Acting)
|Preceded by||President's rule|
|Succeeded by||Ashok Gehlot|
4 March 1990 – 15 December 1992
Milap Chand Jain (Acting)
Debi Prasad Chattopadhyaya
Swarup Singh (Acting)
Marri Chenna Reddy
|Preceded by||Hari Dev Joshi|
|Succeeded by||President's rule|
22 June 1977 – 16 February 1980
|Preceded by||Hari Dev Joshi|
|Succeeded by||Jagannath Pahadia|
|Born||23 October 1923|
Khachariawas, British Raj (nowIndia)
|Died||15 May 2010 (aged 86)|
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party (1980–present)|
|Bharatiya Jana Sangh (Before 1977)|
Janata Party (1977–1980)
|Spouse(s)||Shrimati Suraj Kanwar|