Chandra Shekhar - a firebrand idealist

Chandra Shekhar - a firebrand idealist
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Jul 08, 2007 10:36 AM IST
Copy Link
PTI | By, New Delhi

Called a "young turk" for his conviction and courage, former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar stood against politics of personality and stoutly opposed policies of liberalisation, reflecting the socialist ideology he strongly espoused.

So blunt were his views that he incurred the wrath of his party leader late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who jailed him during Emergency in 1975 along with other leading lights of the Opposition like Morarji Desai, Jayaprakash Narayan, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani.

The image that he had of a man of principles suffered a dent when he split with VP Singh and formed a minority government with Congress support only to be pulled down within a few months in 1991.

Born on July one, 1927 in a farmer's family in Ibrahimpatti in Ballia in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Chandra Shekhar was attracted to politics from student days and was known as a firebrand idealist.

After his student days in Allahabad University, he joined the socialist movement in the early 1950s. An associate of Acharya Narendra Dev, Chandra Shekhar was with the Praja Socialist Party for long and was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1962.

He joined the Congress party three years later and was elected General Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party. (MORE)

As a member of Parliament, Chandra Shekhar made a mark opposing policies he thought were harmful and was strongly against growth of monopolies with state patronage.

He came to be known as a 'young turk' for his conviction and courage in the fight against the vested interests.

The other 'young turks', who formed the 'ginger group' in the Congress in the fight for egalitarian policies, included leaders like Mohan Dharia and Ram Dhan who were also imprisoned during Emergency. Late Feroze Gandhi also used to be a part of the 'ginger group' during the undivided Congress days.

Immediately after the Emergency, Chandra Shekhar kept out of the power structure and became the first President of the Janata Party, formed in 1977 in the flush of electoral success that heralded the first non-Congress government at the Centre.

After 1977, he was elected to Lok Sabha in all the elections, except in 1984 when the Congress swept the polls after Indira Gandhi's assassination.

The post of Prime Minister, which he thought he genuinely deserved, eluded him in 1989 when VP Singh pipped him at the post and was chosen to head the first coalition government at the Centre.

Chandra Shekhar always held a grouse that VP Singh and late Devi Lal entered into a pact to deprive him of the Prime Ministership and used it against Singh at the height of the post-Mandal agitation to break the party and bring the government down in 1990.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, the Amritsar North Aam Aadmi Party MLA, with party leader Arvind Kejriwal and chief minister Bhagwant Mann after joining the AAP last year. The 1998-batch IPS officer opted for premature retirement on April 9 , 2021, after the Punjab and Haryana high court quashed the probe report filed by the SIT led by him into the Kotkapura firing. (HT file photo)

    Deal with post-sacrilege police firing cases sternly, Punjab CM urged

    Amritsar North Aam Aadmi Party MLA and former IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh on Friday urged Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann to deal with the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan police firing incidents with a strong hand as the accused are trying hard to get acquitted. In a letter to Mann, Kunwar Vijay laid emphasis on defending petitions pending in the high court and proceeding with the trial in the Faridkot sessions court.

  • Patiala: Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu surrenders in the CJM court, in Patiala, Friday, May 20, 2022, a day after he was awarded one year in prison by the Supreme Court in a 1988-road rage (PTI)

    Navjot Sidhu surrenders in Patiala court; judge starts process to send him to jail

    After a last-ditch effort to get some time to surrender didn't work, cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday surrendered before the court of Patiala's chief judicial magistrate. Sidhu started at 3.50pm from home and reached the court complex with a group of supporters. Sidhu is expected to be lodged at the Patiala central jail that has been prepping for the new inmate. Sidhu's archrival Bikram Singh Majithia is also lodged in the Patiala Jail.

  • The Centre on Friday appointed 1998 batch IAS officer Gyanesh Bharti as the new commissioner of unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi

    Gyanesh Bharti appointed commissioner of unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi

    The Centre on Friday appointed 1998 batch IAS officer Gyanesh Bharti as the new commissioner of unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the ministry of home affairs said. The Centre has appointed 1992 batch IAS officer Ashwani Kumar as the special officer in the unified MCD.

  • Even people who say they like to work, don’t really like to work. Because? Well, because work is work. It is hard. It is repetitive. It becomes boring after the novelty wears off. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

    Global Village Idiot: 1,001 secrets to an engaged work life!

    I meet many people during a typical day. Of late, I seem to be meeting quite a few people in India who are giving up jobs to start ventures. Because? Well, because work is work. Practice at all levels, all the time. What is otherwise called “being in the zone”. Do you know why? Because the average human being doesn't find their own work exciting. And this is true even for work you lovvvvvve doing.

  • Suspended IAS officer Pooja Singhal was arrested on May 12.

    Jharkhand: Suspended IAS officer Pooja Singhal's ED custody extended by 5 days

    A local court on Friday extended the Enforcement Directorate custody of suspended IAS officer Pooja Singhal by five more days, news agency ANI reported. Pooja Singhal was arrested by the probe agency on May 12 in connection with a money laundering case linked to alleged embezzlement of MGNREGA funds in Khunti district of Jharkhand. The agency had reportedly recovered 17 crore from the residence of Suman Kumar.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, May 20, 2022