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Once a BJP rival, Jayant Chaudhary joins 3rd Modi govt

June 09, 2024 22:58 IST

Once a political rival of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Jayant Chaudhary aligned his Rashtriya Lok Dal with the National Democratic Alliance in March.

IMAGE: RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary takes oath as a Union minister of state (independent charge), at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Sunday. Photograph: Kind courtesy @RanveerChoudhry on X

The warming up of ties became apparent after the Centre announced the country's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna to his grandfather and former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh.

Jayant Chaudhary took oath as a Union minister of state (independent charge) in the third Narendra Modi government on Sunday, almost a year after he had rubbished speculations of cosying up to the BJP.


In 2022, Chaudhary's RLD contested the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls in alliance with the Samajwadi Party against the BJP.

The RLD won eight seats and later, bagged another in a bypoll. Currently, it has nine MLAs in the assembly.

Chaudhary was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh with SP's help. He is also credited with having increased the party's tally in the assembly.

A rift between the SP and the RLD surfaced during the civic polls in Uttar Pradesh in May 2023 when the alliance partners fought against each other for seats in nagar mahapanchayats and nagar panchayats.

A month later, the RLD skipped a meeting of the opposition INDIA bloc, citing preoccupation with a family event.

Cut to 2024, the RLD fielded candidates on two Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in alliance with the BJP and won both.

Signs of the RLD's growing bonhomie with the BJP became visible on February 9 when Jayant Chaudhary said the Centre won his heart with the announcement of the Bharat Ratna to Chaudhary Charan Singh.

'Dil Jeet Liya,' he had posted on 'X'.

Chaudhary Charan Singh was considered a farmers' leader and his grandson Jayant Chaudhary is believed to be the torch-bearer of his political legacy, especially after the demise of Chaudhary Ajit Singh (Jayant Chaudhary's father).

Jayant Chaudhary was a member of the 15th Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014 from Mathura.

According to the information furnished on the website of the Rajya Sabha, Jayant Chaudhary was born in Dallas (the USA) on December 27, 1978, to former Union minister Ajit Singh and Radhika Singh.

He was educated at the Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University, and the London School of Economics and Political Science in London.

According to the RLD's spokesperson Ankur Saxena, Jayant has been a vocal critic of the 1894 land acquisition law and the large-scale acquisition of fertile lands in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Jayant Chaudhary serves as a chairman of the Kisan Trust founded by the late Chaudhary Charan Singh in 1978.

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