V. P. Singh Biography

(7th Prime Minister of India)

Birthday: June 25, 1931 (Cancer)

Born In: Prayagraj, India

Vishwanath Pratap Singh was an Indian political leader who served as the eighth Prime Minister of India from 1989-90. He holds an important place in the history of Indian politics mainly for trying to improve the lot of India's lower castes during his tenure as the Prime Minister. He worked his way in the Indian politics through his keen sense of judgment and sheer conviction. He served at various significant positions in the cabinet of Indian National Congress throughout the 1970s and 1980s. After he resigned from the post of defense minister and left the Congress Party following Rajiv Gandhi’s interference with his decisions, he worked hard to bring together a coalition of the Left parties and the BJP against the Rajiv Gandhi government. He united several small parties and formed a coalition government which won the 1989 elections. But the coalition was soon split by disputes having to do with religious and caste issues - Bhartiya Janta Party withdrew its support, and he was forced to resign from his post. Even though he served for a short span, he is always remembered as a bold politician who took firm decisions and constantly worked towards upliftment of backward classes and Dalits.
Quick Facts

Indian Celebrities Born In June

Also Known As: Vishwanath Pratap Singh

Died At Age: 77


Spouse/Ex-: Sita Kumari

father: Raja Bahadur Ram Gopal Singh

children: Abhai Singh, Ajay Singh

Prime Ministers Political Leaders

Died on: November 27, 2008

place of death: New Delhi, India

Notable Alumni: Fergusson College, University Of Pune

Cause of Death: Multiple Myeloma

Founder/Co-Founder: Jan Morcha

More Facts

education: Allahabad University, University Of Pune, Fergusson College

  • 1

    What were some key initiatives taken by V. P. Singh during his tenure as Prime Minister of India?

    As Prime Minister, V. P. Singh implemented several important initiatives, including the Mandal Commission recommendations for reservation of jobs for Other Backward Classes (OBCs), the Chandra Shekhar Azad Agricultural University, and the National Front coalition government.

  • 2

    How did V. P. Singh's government handle the Bofors scandal?

    V. P. Singh's government ordered an investigation into the Bofors scandal, which involved alleged kickbacks in a defense deal. The scandal led to the resignation of several top officials and caused significant political turmoil during his tenure.

  • 3

    What was the significance of V. P. Singh's decision to implement the Mandal Commission recommendations?

    V. P. Singh's decision to implement the Mandal Commission recommendations for reservation of jobs for OBCs had a significant impact on Indian politics and society. It led to widespread debates on caste-based reservations and social justice.

  • 4

    How did V. P. Singh's economic policies affect India's economy during his tenure?

    V. P. Singh's economic policies focused on reducing the fiscal deficit, promoting exports, and implementing structural reforms. However, his tenure was marked by economic challenges, including a balance of payments crisis and inflation.

  • 5

    What was the political legacy of V. P. Singh in Indian politics?

    V. P. Singh's political legacy in Indian politics is characterized by his emphasis on social justice, empowerment of marginalized communities, and challenging the status quo. He is remembered for his role in implementing reservations for OBCs and leading a coalition government with diverse political parties.

Childhood & Early Life
V. P. Singh was born on June 25, 1931 in the Rajput Gahawar (Rathore) zamindar family of Daiya to Raja Bhagwati Prasad Singh. In 1936, he was adopted by Raja Bahadur Ram Gopal Singh, the ruler of of Manda.
He received his formal education from Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Dehra Dun, and later studied at the Allahabad and Pune (Poona) universities. In 1947-48, he served as the President of the Students Union at Udai Pratap College, Varanasi, and later became the Vice President of Allahabad University Students Union.
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In 1969, he joined the Indian National Congress Party and became a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh. In 1971, he won the Lok Sabha elections and became a Member of Parliament. In 1974, he was elected the Union Deputy Minister of Commerce and from November 1976 to March 1977, he served as the Union State Minister of Commerce.
In 1980, he was appointed the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, a post he held until 1982. During his tenure, he worked hard to eradicate the dacoit problem in south-western Uttar Pradesh.
In 1983, he resumed his post as Minister of Commerce in the cabinet. He also held additional charge of the Department of Supply and became the Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha).
In September 1984, he was elected President of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee. Upon the death of Indira Gandhi in October 1984, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed him the Union Finance Minister on December 31, 1984.
In January 1987, he was transferred to the post of minister of defense but he resigned from Gandhi’s cabinet later that year, after his investigations of arms-procurement fraud were squelched. Soon afterwards, he resigned from the government altogether and left the Congress Party.
After resigning as a Congress cabinet minister, he established an opposition party called ‘Jan Morcha’. He was elected to Lok Sabha once again in the tightly contested by-election in Allahabad.
Thereafter he founded the Janata Dal (JD), a merger of small centrist opposition parties - Jan Morcha, Janata Party, Lok Dal, and Congress (S). With the help of Janata Dal, he soon assembled a larger nationwide opposition coalition called the National Front (NF), which contested the general parliamentary elections of November 1989 alongside BJP and the Communist parties.
National Front won the elections and he became the Prime Minister of India on December 2, 1989. After the state legislative elections in March 1990, his governing coalition achieved control of both houses of India’s parliament.
During his tenure as the Prime Minister, on the recommendation of the Mandal Commission, he passed a fixed quota reservation for all jobs in public sector for people falling under the historically disadvantaged “Other Backward classes” (OBC). This resulted in strong objection from non-OBC youths in urban areas of North India.
He was ousted when BJP withdrew support to the National Front government after its leader L.K. Advani was arrested on Singh’s orders during a Rath Yatra that supported a construction of a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. He resigned on November 7, 1990, after receiving a vote of no confidence in the Lok Sabha.
Later he toured India giving public lectures and speeches concerning social justice and pursued his artistic interests, especially painting. But after he was diagnosed with cancer in 1998, he stopped making public appearances.
Personal Life & Legacy
On June 25, 1955, he had an arranged marriage with Sita Kumari, the daughter of the Raja of Deogarh-Madaria, Rajasthan. The couple was blessed with two sons - Ajay Singh, born in 1957 and Abhai Singh, born in 1958.
On November 27, 2008, he died after a long struggle with multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) and renal failure in Delhi, India. He was cremated on the banks of the River Ganges in Allahabad.
Facts About V. P. Singh

Singh was known for his simple lifestyle and humility, often preferring to wear plain white khadi clothes instead of more extravagant attire.

He was a talented poet and writer, with a passion for literature that not many were aware of during his time as a politician.

Singh was an avid gardener and took great pride in his garden, spending hours tending to his plants and flowers whenever he had the chance.

He had a love for animals, particularly dogs, and was often seen feeding and caring for stray animals in his neighborhood.

See the events in life of V. P. Singh in Chronological Order

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