Bhairon Singh Shekhawat

Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (23 October 1925 – 15 May 2010) was the 11th Vice President of India.[1] He served in that position from August 2002, when he was elected to a five-year term by the electoral college following the death of Krishan Kant, until he resigned on 21 July 2007, after losing the presidential election to Pratibha Patil. Shekhawat was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a leading member of the National Democratic Alliance at the time of election. He served as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan three times, from 1977 to 1980,[1][2] 1990 to 1992[1][2] and 1993 to 1998.[1][2] He represented several constituencies in Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha from 1952 to 2002.[3]

Bhairon Shekhawat
BS Shekhawat.jpg
11th Vice President of India
In office
19 August 2002 – 21 July 2007
PresidentA. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Preceded byKrishan Kant
Succeeded byMohammad Hamid Ansari
8th Chief Minister of Rajasthan
In office
4 December 1993 – 29 November 1998
Preceded byPresident's rule
Succeeded byAshok Gehlot
In office
4 March 1990 – 15 December 1992
Preceded byHari Dev Joshi
Succeeded byPresident's rule
In office
22 June 1977 – 16 February 1980
Preceded byHari Dev Joshi
Succeeded byJagannath Pahadia
Personal details
Born(1925-10-23)23 October 1925
Khachariyaws, Rajputana Agency, British India
(now in Rajasthan, India)[citation needed]
Died15 May 2010(2010-05-15) (aged 84)
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party (1980–2010 his death)
Other political
Bharatiya Jana Sangh (Before 1977)
Janata Party (1977–1980)
Spouse(s)Suraj Kanwar

Early lifeEdit

He was born in 1925 to a Rajput family in the village of Khachiyarawas, then in Sikar district, Rajputana Agency, British India.[4]

Political lifeEdit

Referred to as "Rajasthan ka ek hi Singh"[5] (The only lion of Rajasthan) or "Babosa" (Head of the family of Rajasthan), Bhairon Singh Shekhawat entered politics in 1952. In 1952 he was MLA from Ramgarh, in 1957 from Sri Madhopur, 1962 and 1967 he was MLA from Kisan Pol.[6] In 1972 elections he lost but in 1973 he was elected to Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh.[6] In 1975 during emergency he was arrested and sent to Rohtak jail.[6][7]

After emergency in 1977 he became MLA from Chhabra as Janata Party candidate.[6] In that year the Janata Party won 151 of the 200 seats in the state assembly elections of Rajasthan and Shekhawat took over as the first non Congress Chief Minister of Rajasthan in 1977. His government was dismissed by Indira Gandhi in 1980.[6]

In 1980, Shekhawat joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and became MLA again from Chabda and was leader of opposition. In 1985, he was MLA from Nimbahera.[8] However, in 1989 an alliance[9] between the BJP and the Janata Dal won all 25 of the Rajasthan seats in the Lok Sabha and also 138[10] seats (BJP:84+Janata Dal:54)[10] in the 1990 elections to the Ninth[10] Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. Shekhawat once again became Chief Minister of Rajasthan and was MLA from Dholpur.[6] His government was dismissed in 1992 and President's rule imposed.[6][10]

In the next elections, in 1993, Shekhawat led the BJP to be the single largest party, winning 96 seats. He himself contested from two seats, becoming MLA from Bali, but he lost from Ganganagar seat where he finished third and Congress candidate Radheshyam Ganganagar won. Three BJP-supported independents also won seats and other independents who supported the BJP took its total to 116. And Shekhawat became Chief Minister of Rajasthan for third time.[6]

In 1998, Shekhawat was elected from Bali again but the BJP lost power and Shekhawat became Leader of Opposition in the legislative assembly.[6] Shekhawat won every election to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, except in 1972 when he lost from Gandhi Nagar in Jaipur, and in Ganganagar he lost in 1993 and Congress leader Radheshyam Ganganagar won. .[11]

Shekhawat was elected as the Vice-President of India in 2002, when he defeated the opposition candidate, Sushil Kumar Shinde by a margin of 149 votes out of the 750 votes polled.[12]

In July 2007, Shekhawat fought the Presidential election as an independent candidate backed by National Democratic Alliance as a popular Presidential candidate next to A. P. J. Abdul Kalam; but lost to the United Progressive Alliance-Left backed candidate Pratibha Patil. He became the first vice-president to lose presidential election. Following this defeat, Shekhawat resigned from the post of Vice-President on 21 July 2007.[citation needed]


Shekhawat started the "Antyoday Yojna" scheme, which was intended to uplift the poorest of the poor. The chairman of the World Bank, Robert McNamara, referred to him as the Rockefeller of India.[13] Shekhawat was also known for his control over bureaucracy and the police. He had involvement in policies designed to improve literacy and industrialisation in Rajasthan, as well as tourism centred on the themes of heritage, wildlife and villages. He was also lauded by both, national and international leaders for his historic conduct of the Rajya Sabha.[14][15]


Bhairon Singh Shekhawat succumbed to cancer and other related health problems, and died on 15 May 2010 at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur.[13] He was cremated the next day, at a plot of land provided by the government of Rajasthan, where his memorial is now built. His funeral was attended by thousands of people. He was survived by his wife, Suraj Kanwar and his only daughter, Ratan Rajvi who is married to BJP leader Narpat Singh Rajvi.[16]

His wife, Suraj Kanwar (b. 1927), died on 9 March 2013 at the age of 86 and was cremated at Shekhawat's memorial as per her last wish.[17]

Electoral historyEdit

Vice President Shekhawat along with former Governor of Odisha Rameshwar Thakur
Vice President Shekhawat inspecting guard of honor at Biju Patnaik International Airport

Shekhawat was a member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly on the following occasions:[2]

Offices heldEdit

He held the following offices:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Former". Vice President of India. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Opposition Leader - RLA". Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "राजपूतों को आईना दिखाने वाले भैरों सिंह शेखावत". BBC News हिंदी (in Hindi). 23 October 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Thousands bid farewell to Shekhawat - IBNLive". Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bhairon Singh Shekhawat edited by Rabul Singhal. 2007. p. 106.
  7. ^ The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s ... By Christophe Jaffrelot. 1999. p. 277.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "The 1989 Advani Parallel for Modi in 2014". Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d "House Tenure - Rajasthan Legislative Assembly". Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Former vice president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat dead - India News". Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Bhairon Singh Shekhawat uses political skills to win vice-presidential polls : INDIASCOPE - India Today". 26 August 2002. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Former Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat dead". The Times of India. PTI. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Press Information Bureau English Releases". Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  15. ^ "Bhairon Singh Shekhawat - Former Vice President of India". Shekhawat.Com. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Thousands bid farewell to Shekhawat". The Hindu. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  17. ^ PTI, (9 March 2014) "Former VP Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's wife dies," Press Trust of India (New Delhi), archived from the original 9 March 2014 at 10:34 IST "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Hari Dev Joshi
Chief Minister of Rajasthan
Succeeded by
Jagannath Pahadia
Chief Minister of Rajasthan
Succeeded by
President's rule
Preceded by
President's rule
Chief Minister of Rajasthan
Succeeded by
Ashok Gehlot
Preceded by
Krishan Kant
Vice-President of India
Succeeded by
Mohammad Hamid Ansari