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Rajnath: low profile but able administrator
Sanjay Pande in Mumbai | December 31, 2005 14:12 IST
From a college lecturer in Uttar Pradesh to the top man of the Bharatiya Janata Party, it has been a dramatic rise for the party's low profile, soft-spoken and articulate leader Rajnath Singh who is also considered an able administrator.
Born on July 10, 1951 at Bhabhaura village in Uttar Pradesh's Chandauli district, Singh got his post graduate degree in physics from Gorakhpur University and was appointed a lecturer in the K B Post graduate degree college in Mirzapur in 1971.
Beginning his political innings with the BJP's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in 1969, he was its organising secretary of the Gorakhpur division from 1969 to 1971 and became the secretary of the then Bharatiya Jan Sangh's Mirzapur unit in 1974.
Singh was drawn to Jaiprakash Narayan's movement against the Emergency and was arrested in July 1975 before being released after in 1977.
In 1975, Singh was appointed the Mirzapur district president of Jan Sangh.
Elected to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly in 1977 elections, Singh was appointed state secretary of BJP in 1983. A year later, he was appointed president of BJP's youth wing in the state and went on to become the vice-president of state BJP in 1990.
He shot into limelight during his stint as education minister in the state in 1991 when he enacted an Anti-Copying Act provoking protests from the then opposition parties.
Singh was a member of the Rajya Sabha from April 1994 to April 2000 and again from 2000 to October 2001. He was appointed the chief whip of BJP in Rajya Sabha.
Singh came back to Uttar Pradesh politics in 1997 and was made the president of the state unit of BJP but after two years he returned to the national scene as surface transport minister in Vajpayee government.
After the exit of Ram Prakash Gupta as chief minister capping serious factional feud in the state unit of the party, he was appointed chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2000 and held the post till 2002. In that period, he earned a name for himself as an able administrator.
After the 2002 assembly polls in the state, Singh became the national general secretary of the BJP and was given charge of party affairs in Chhattisgarh.
When BJP was locked in a delicate battle for power in Jharkhand following a badly fractured mandate in the assembly polls, Rajnath Singh was sent to ensure the party as well as NDA succeeds. Singh emerged successful in that mission.
Singh recently took out a Nyaya Yatra in parts of the eastern region of the state to protest the killing of the party MLA Krishnanand Rai.
He has also written a book on the causes and solutions of unemployment problem in Uttar Pradesh.