Published on Apr 17, 2004 09:04 PM IST

The former Prime Minster is one of the senior-most parliamentarians around and is respected by ruling and opposition benches alike.

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A die-hard socialist leader, Chandrashekhar is one of the senior-most parliamentarians around. He has acquired the stature of a statesman in Parliament and his views are heard and respected by the ruling and opposition benches in the House.

His moment of glory came in 1990-91 when he led a group of socialites and formed the Government with outside support from the Congress (I) after the fall of the VP Singh led Janata Dal government. However, like other non-Congress Prime Ministers he too did not last long as PM as the Congress withdrew support from his government.

He has been among the few leaders who have been advocating a strong non-Congress and non-BJP front in the country.  However, following the disintegration of the Janata Party (JP) and churning in the third front, he has had little choice and had formed the Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP) that he represents at present.

Born on July 1, 1927 in a small village of Ibrahimpatti in Ballia district (Uttar Pradesh) Chandrasekhar went on to represent the Ballia Lok Sabha seat for seven times. A Masters in Arts from Allahabad University, Chandrashekhar had been active in politics right from his student days. During the Emergency period in 1975 he was among the political leaders who were arrested under the MISA and put behind bars.

Chandra Shekhar was the Founder-Editor and Chairman, Editorial Advisory Board of "Young Indian" and he has written two books one titled "Meri Jail Diary" (in Hindi), and "Dynamics of Social Change".

He undertook a padyatra  of 4,260 km from Kanyakumari to New Delhi (between January 6, 1983 to June 25, 1983) to establish rapport with the masses and understand their problems and established 15 Bharat Yatra Centres in various states to train social and political workers for mass education and grassroot work.

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