Is this the end of Arjun Singh's political career?
The non-inclusion of Congress leader Arjun Singh in the Union Cabinet may perhaps mark the end of a long political career that has seen a number of ups and downs barring a surprise change in the leadership thinking that could see his entry in the remaining installment of the cabinet expansion.bhopal Updated: May 24, 2009 12:19 IST
The non-inclusion of Congress leader Arjun Singh in the Union Cabinet may perhaps mark the end of a long political career that has seen a number of ups and downs barring a surprise change in the leadership thinking that could see his entry in the remaining installment of the cabinet expansion.
Singh, who hails from Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh and steered the OBC reservation policy in the higher educational institutions, is also mentioned as a possible candidate for governorship.
Singh's best period in his long political life was obviously from 1980 to 1985 when he ruled Madhya Pradesh as a powerful Chief Minister.
It was then the Congress bagged all the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the undivided Madhya Pradesh in the 1984 polls.
Of course, the fact that the polls were held soon after the assassination of former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi did help the Congress but Singh's role cannot be discounted.
Singh has seen tough times and the adage 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going' has been applied to him often.
But now is a different situation when age is not on his side and he has been having health problems.
But Singh's mind continues to be as sharp as ever. Singh also has the distinction of being the only Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister who lasted in office for just one day.
After the Congress won the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh in 1985 under his leadership, he was also sworn-in as Chief Minister, but was sent to Punjab as a Governor the very next day.
After his successful stint as Governor of the then trouble-torn Punjab, Singh was brought to Delhi and later rose to become the Congress Working President and also as Union Minister by winning the prestigious South Delhi seat.
After that he was sent back to Madhya Pradesh as Chief Minister but after sometime he was again forced to quit in the wake of Churhat lottery scam.
After the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Singh was sulking on winning the race for prime ministership of the country.
He had serious differences with the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, which eventually saw his exit from the Congress after the Babri demolition and floating of the parallel Tiwari Congress headed by N D Tiwari.
But, Tiwari Congress remained a non-starter and Singh even lost the Lok Sabha elections from Satna parliamentary seat in 1996.