The Sangh stalwart and union defence minister Rajnath Singh has come a long way in his life. The seasoned politician who turns 70 today is among the only few union ministers still present who was there in the team of Former prime minister AB Vajpayee.
Hailing from a farmers family, Rajnath Singh was born on 10 July 1951 in Bhabhora, a small village in Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh. His father's name was Rambadan Singh and his mother's name was Gujarati Devi.
He obtained his first-class MSc degree in Physics from Gorakhpur University. He has been associated with the Sangh Parivar since the age of 13 (since 1964). In 1969, he started his political career as organization secretary in Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of BJP in Gorakhpur.
He remained associated with the Sangh in 1971 even after being appointed lecturer in Physics at KB Post Graduate Degree College in Mirzapur. In 1974, he was appointed the secretary of the Mirzapur unit of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Rajnath Singh, who started his career as a lecturer in physics in college, gradually increased his stature in the party.
During the Emergency, Rajnath Singh joined Jaiprakash Narayan's movement and went behind the bars. In 1977, he became an MLA for the first time from Uttar Pradesh, followed by the state secretary of BJP. Singh, who became the National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha in 1986, was elevated to the National President post in 1988. Singh was elected a member of the Legislative Council in Uttar Pradesh in the year 1988. He became the education minister during the Kalyan Singh government.
He may have played a long inning in the politics of Uttar Pradesh, but he reached Parliament for the first time in 1994 when he got a Rajya Sabha ticket. He was also made the Chief Whip of the BJP in the Upper House.
BJP president in 2005 and 2013
After BJP veteran LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, who took over the reins of BJP in 2005 reunited the party and focused on Hindutva, the party's core ideology. He clarified that there will be no agreement regarding the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.
However, under his leadership not only the party failed to get the magic number to form government in the Centre in the year 2009, but also suffered a loss of 22 seats in comparison to the year 2004.
It was in December 2009 when Gadkari was appointed as party President after Singh, but in early 2013, Gadkari was out of the race for the post of BJP President. In a surprising 11 th hour swap Rajnath Singh was crowned as the BJP President for the second time unanimously.
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
After Kalyan Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta was made the Chief Minister on June 12, 1999 but after removing him, Rajnath Singh was made the CM in October 2000. He remained in office till March 2002. He had to resign as the government was in the minority due to the exodus of few MLAs. Afte the polls BSP supremo Mayawati was elected as the CM for the third time.
Cabinet Minister (2004- 2021)
In Atal Bihari Vajpayee's govt Rajnath Singh was appointed as Minister of Agriculture and subsequently of food processing. He initiated the Kisan call centre and farm income insurance scheme. Not only under the AB Vajpayee he was given a plum portfolio in 2014 after BJP rode to power on its own due to the humongous Modi wave.
Rajnath Singh was sworn in as union minister of home affairs on 26th May 2014. Later when the Victory of Narendra Modi become even bigger in the 2019 general elections, He was appointed as the Defence minister and passed the Banton of home ministry to the closest of NAMO Amit Shah. He was one of few ministers who were retained in the recently concluded cabinet reshuffle. (WD)