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Profiling Former Chief Ministers of Haryana

Profiling Former Chief Ministers of Haryana, naya haryana, नया हरियाणा

10th September 2014

Naya Haryana

Haryana was formed in 1966 and since then nine different Chief Ministers have served at different times.

The honour of being the first to serve as Haryana's Chief Minister goes to Bhagwat Dayal Sharma. We profile all the Chief Ministers here:

Bhagwat Dayal Sharma

In office: 01 November, 1966  23 March, 1967;  No. of Days: 143

Party: Indian National Congress

B.D. Sharma was born in 1917 in village Beri of Jhajjar district and was a freedom fighter who served jail sentences under the British rule. Post-independence, Panditji, as he was popularly called, was an active trade unionist who took up labour issues in the then Punjab state. In 1966, when Haryana was formed, he was elected as its first Chief Minister and set about building the foundation of the new state.

Leading politicians like Bansi Lal and Bhajan Lal picked up the nuances of politics under his guidance. Though his tenure as a Chief Minister was brief, he left a platform on which other Chief Minister would build upon.

He subsequently served as Governor of Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. He passed away in 1993. The Rohtak Medical College has been named after him.

Rao Birender Singh

In office: 24 March, 1967  02 November, 1967; No. of Days: 224 days

Party: Vishal Haryana Party

Rao Birender Singh was born in 1921 in village Nangal Pathani and was a descendent of the 1857 hero, Rao Tula Ram. He finished his schooling in Dehradun after which he joined St. Stephens College in Delhi.

His early years in politics saw him serve as a minister in the Punjab government (pre-Haryana days) in the Pratap Singh Kairon government. He was instrumental in promoting Haryana as an independent state. He served as the first speaker of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha and also served as the second Chief Minister of Haryana. He served in the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet but left after the Bofors scandal. He later joined Janata Party and served as a minister under the Chandra Shekhar government.

In Haryana, he made his mark in helping the Ahirwal community get their identity and was also responsible for Rewari becoming a district. He died in Gurgaon in 2009.

Bansi Lal

In office: 22 May, 1968  30 November, 1975; No. of days: 2749

In office: 05 July, 1985  19 June, 1987; No. of days: 715

Party: Indian National Congress

In office: 11 May, 1996  23 July, 1999; No. of days: 1169

Party: Haryana Vikas Party

Total no. of days as Chief Minister in all three terms: 4633

Bansi Lal was born in Golagarh village of Bhiwani district in 1927. He is widely viewed as the architect of modern Haryana and has been its most influential leader of his time. It was under his initiative that saw Haryana get electrified and industry began to invest in the state. He is also credited for pioneering the Highway Tourism concept in the state, a model that later replicated by other states.

His early years saw him study Law at Jalandhar and later he went on to serve as president of the Bar association of Bhiwani. He later was an active worker in the Congress party and went on to serve as Defence Minister (1975-77) under Indira Gandhi and also served as Railway Minister (1984) and also the Transport Minister. During the Emergency, he came under a lot of criticism for his strong arm implementation of controversial policies of the time. He was widely seen as a close confidant of both Indira Gandhi and her son, Sanjay Gandhi.

He served three terms as the Chief Minister, with the last term under his Haryana Vikas Party. He died in 2006 and has the Jui canal renamed after him.

Banarsi Das Gupta

In Office: 01 December, 1975  30 April, 1977; No. of days: 517

Party: Indian National Congress

In office: 22 May, 1990  12 July, 1990; No. of days: 52

Party: Janata Dal

Total No. of days as Chief Minister in both terms: 569

Banarsi Das Gupta was born in Bhiwani in 1917. He spent his early years as an activist for the freedom movement and was jailed several times. He built a reputation as a social reformer and activist over the years and undertook several initiatives to reform society by promoting widow remarriages, education for girls, child marriage, dowry system and untouchability. He also took active part in Acharya Vinobha Bhave's Bhoodan movement where he collected thousands of acres for re-distribution of land to the poor.

He was very active with the Vaish and Agarwal communities. He was the fourth Chief Minister after Bansi Lal and served two terms, with his second term lasting only 52 days. He died in 2007.

Chaudhary Devi Lal

In office: 21 June, 1977  28 June, 1979; No. of days: 738

Party: Janata Party

In office: 17 July, 1987  02 December, 1989; No of days: 870

Party: Janata Dal

Total No. of days as Chief Minister in both terms: 1608

Chaudhary Devi Lal was born in Teja Khera village of Sirsa district in 1917. He was born to a wealthy landlord of Chautala, who owned 2750 acres of land. He spent his early years as a wrestler but was soon drawn to Mahatma Gandhi's call to join the freedom movement. He gave up his studies in middle school and along with his elder brother Sahib Ram, got involved full time in the freedom struggle and was an active participant in the Quit India movement. He, along with his brother, served jail sentences several times.

In 1971, he left Congress and in 1975 was jailed for 19 months during the Emergency along with several other members of the opposition. In 1977, he was elected as Chief Minister on a Janata Party ticket and soon became popular as the Sher-e-Haryana, for standing up to Indira Gandhi. His second term in office was on a Janata Dal ticket.

In 1987, he engineered an alliance to win 85 out of 90 seats in the Vidhan Sabha elections and served his second term as a Chief Minister. Such was his influence in national politics that he later served two terms as a Deputy Prime Minister of India, under the leadership of V.P. Singh and Chandra Shekhar.

Meanwhile, his son Om Prakash Chautala began to rise in local politics and would serve four terms as Chief Minister.

'Tau' or elder uncle, as he was lovingly called, Devi Lal, was extremely popular with the masses, especially the farmer community. However, he was widely criticised for being partisan and indulgent towards his son, Om Prakash Chautala. He died in 2001 in New Delhi.

Bhajan Lal

In office: 29 June, 1979  22 January, 1980; No. of days: 208

In office: 22 January, 1980  05 July, 1985; No. of days: 1992

In office: 23 July, 1991  09 May, 1996; No. of days: 1752

Party: Indian National Congress

Total No. of days as Chief Minister in both terms: 3952

Bhajan Lal was born in village Koranwali of Bhawalpur district, now in Pakistan, in 1930. He started his political career as a Sarpanch and went on to serve two terms as Chief Minister of Haryana. He has also served as a M. P. winning from Karnal and Hisar, respectively.

He was involved in state political rivalry that saw B. S. Hooda elected as Chief Minister in 2005. He later was disillusioned with the treatment from Congress to his son, Kuldeep Bishnoi, and later formed the Haryana Janhit Congress. He died in 2011 in Hisar.

Om Prakash Chautala

In office: 02 December, 1989  22 May, 1990; No. of days: 172

Party: Janata Dal

In office: 12 July 1990  17 July, 1990; No. of days: 6

Party: Janata Dal

In office: 22 March, 1991  06 April, 1991; No. of days: 16

Party: Samajwadi Janata Party

In office: 24 July, 1999  04 March, 2005; No. of days: 2051

Party: Indian National Lok Dal

Total No. of days as Chief Minister in both terms: 2245

Om Prakash Chautala was born in 1935 and at a very young age began to take active interest in politics. He grew up organising various awareness programs and took active part in the Nyaya Yudh that was initiated by this father, Devi Lal. He took active part in protesting the law & order and corruption issues in the state and also took up flood control that was a major problem in the state.

In his last term in office, he was mired in a teacher's recruitment scam and was jailed along with his son Ajay Chautala. His other son, Abhay Chautala is active in state politics along with his grandson Dushyant, who is the youngest M.P who stood from Hisar.

Hukam Singh

In office: 17 July, 1990  21 March, 1991; No. of days: 248

Party: Janata Dal

Hukam Singh was born in village Charkhi Dadri of Bhiwani district. He remained active in state politics, though in his later years he did come on to the national scene.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda

In office: 05 March, 2005  till date; No. of days: 3400+

BS Hooda was born in village Sanghi of Rohtak district. His father Ranbir Singh Hooda was a renowned freedom fighter. His schooling was at Sainik School, Karnal and later he went on to study Law from Delhi University. He joined Youth Congress and has been in active politics at the state level. He is a four time M. P. from Rohtak and has served as Leader of opposition in the Vidhan Sabha from 2001-04.

He took office as Chief Minister in 2005 and has been in power since. Unfortunately, his two terms as Chief Minister will be remembered not so much for the good work he has done in promoting sport in Haryana but for the series of corruption scandals that he has been accused of being involved in.

The last word on his contribution to state development is yet to be written.

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