It has been a long journey from a policeman to Vice President's post for Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who has friends across the political spectrum which he believes will carry him through the Presidential contest.
The 84-year-old Rajput from Rajasthan is a veteran of many a poll battle and the coming tussle for the Raisina Hills on July 19 will put him to real test.
Born in a humble farmer's family at Khachriawas in Rajasthan's Sikar district, Shekhawat has indeed come a long way in life as a veteran political leader, an able administrator and a senior statesman.
Having lost his father at an early age, Shekhawat battled all odds and shouldered the responsibilities of his family. He completed high school but could not complete college.
Shekhawat was thrice the Chief Minister of Rajasthan during which he had launched pioneering anti-poverty programmes like Antyodaya and food-for-work schemes way back in 1977.
His is a story that illustrates the adage that 'hard work and talent brings success even in adversity'.
Shekhawat's political career spanning over half a century began when he joined Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1952 and remained an MLA in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly till 1972 and again from 1977 till he assumed the office of the Vice President in August 2002.