Buta Singh (21 March 1934 – 2 January 2021) was an Indian politician and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress. He was the Union Home Minister of India, Governor of Bihar and was chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes from 2007 to 2010.
Buta Singh was born on 21 March 1934 in Mazhabi Sikh family at Mustafapur, Jalandhar district, Punjab, British India.[failed verification] He was educated at Lyallpur Khalsa College in Jalandhar, from where he was awarded a B.A. (Hons), and at Guru Nanak Khalsa College in Bombay, where he earned a M.A. Singh then gained a Ph.D. from Bundelkhand University. He married Manjit Kaur in 1964; the couple had three children.
Singh was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1962, for the Moga constituency. He was subsequently elected to the 4th (from Ropar in 1967), 5th, 7th, 8th (from Jalore), 10th (1991), 12th and 13th Lok Sabhas. He was involved with the Congress party since Jawaharlal Nehru was Prime Minister and he was close to former Indian prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. But he was first elected to the Indian Parliament from the Moga constituency as Akali Dal candidate, defeating his Congress opponent. He switched to Ropar constituency in 1967, this time as a Congress candidate, and was elected from there to Lok Sabha a couple of times. He became General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary (1978–1980), Home Minister of India and later Governor of Bihar (2004–2006). Other portfolios that he has held include those for railways, commerce, parliamentary affairs, sports, shipping, agriculture, communications and housing. He was chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (ranked as Cabinet Minister) from 2007 to 2010.
He wrote a book Punjabi Speaking State – A Critical Analysis and a collection of articles on Punjabi literature and Sikh history. Indira Gandhi chose him to select a new party symbol when Congress was split. He was very closely involved with her in Operation Blue Star and as a minister he oversaw reconstruction of the Golden Temple following that exercise. His name was also in the finalists for the post of President of India along with Giani Zail Singh in the Indira era. He was also the chairperson of Asian Games organizing committee when the competition was held in India in 1982.
In 1998, as Communications Minister he was indicted in the JMM bribery case, and forced to resign.
As the Governor of Bihar, Singh's decision to recommend the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly in 2005 was sharply criticised by the Supreme Court of India. The court ruled that Singh had acted in haste and misled the federal cabinet because he did not want a particular party claiming to form the government, to come to power. Singh however claimed that the party was resorting to unfair means to secure support to form the government. On 26 January 2006 Singh sent a fax to Abdul Kalam offering to resign his post. The next day he left office and was replaced temporarily by West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
- 1962 : Elected to 3rd Lok Sabha, from Moga seat, as Akali Dal candidate
- 1966–68 : Member, Public Accounts Committee.
- 1967 : Re-elected to 4th Lok Sabha (2nd term) as Congress candidate, Ropar (Lok Sabha constituency)
- 1971 : Re-elected to 5th Lok Sabha (3rd term), from Ropar (Lok Sabha constituency)
- 1971 : Chairman, Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
- 1973–74 : Convenor, All India Congress Committee (Indira) [AICC(I)], Harijan Cell.
- 1974–76 : Union Deputy Minister, Railways.
- 1976–77 : Union Deputy Minister, Commerce.
- 1978–80 : General-Secretary, AICC(I).
- 1980 : Re-elected to 7th Lok Sabha (4th term), from Ropar (Lok Sabha constituency)
- 1980–82 : Union Minister of State, Shipping and Transport.
- 1982 : Union Minister of State, Supply and Rehabilitation (Independent Charge).
- 1982–83 : Union Minister of State, Supply and Sports (Independent Charge).
- 1983–84 : Union Cabinet Minister, Parliamentary Affairs, Sports and Works and Housing.
- 1984 : Re-elected to 8th Lok Sabha (5th term), from Jalore (Lok Sabha constituency)
- 1984–85 : Union Cabinet Minister, Agriculture and Rural Development.
- 1985–86 : Union Cabinet Minister, Agriculture.
- 1986–89 : Union Cabinet Minister, Home Affairs.
- 1991 : Re-elected to 10th Lok Sabha (6th term), Jalore (Lok Sabha constituency)
- 1994–95 : Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Defence.
- 1995–96 : Union Cabinet Minister, Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution.
- 1998 : Re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha (7th term), Jalore (Lok Sabha constituency)
- Mar–Apr. 1998: Union Cabinet Minister, Communications.
- 1998–99 : Member, Committee on Subordinate Legislation and Member, Committee on Finance.
- 1999 : Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (8th term), Jalore (Lok Sabha constituency)
- 1999–2000 : Member, Committee of Privileges and Member, Committee on Communications.
- 1999–2001 : Member, Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- 2002–2003 : Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Room No.-51, Parliament House, New Delhi.
- 2004–2006 : Governor Of Bihar
- 2006–2007 : Permanent Invitee Congress Working Committee
- 2007–2010 : Chairman National Commission For Scheduled Castes (rank of Cabinet Minister)
- "Former Union minister and Congress leader Buta Singh passes". The Times of India. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "Former Home Minister Buta Singh Passes Away At 86". Outlook. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "Former Union Minister Buta Singh dies aged 86, PM Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi offer condolences". Zee News. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "Decline and fall of Buta Singh". Deccan Herald. 11 September 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
- "Congress veteran and ex-home minister Buta Singh passes away at 86; Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi pay tribute". Firstpost. Press Trust of India. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "Hon'ble Governor of Bihar – Sardar Buta Singh". National Informatics Centre, India. Archived from the original on 3 February 2008. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- "Congress veteran Buta Singh passes away". The Hindu. 2 January 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "Members : Lok Sabha". loksabhaph.nic.in.
- "1962 India General (3rd Lok Sabha) Elections Results". www.elections.in.
- "Former union minister and Congress leader Buta Singh dies". UNI. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "'True public servant, loyal leader': Rahul Gandhi condoles Buta Singh's death". Hindustan Times. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "Former home minister Buta Singh passes away". Financial Express. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "We are also trying to bring the World Cup Football to New Delhi: Buta Singh". India Today. 15 December 1982. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "Mulayam fields Buta from Jalore-Sirohi". Free Press Journal.
- Viswanathan, Prema (21 April 1998). "Hegde rules out resignation, defends Vajpayee". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
- Sharma, Avinash (28 February 2009). "Bihar Assembly Dissolution Case". Legal Service India. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
- Verma, Avnindra Kumar (2009). Political Science, Class XI. New Delhi: Rahul Jain (V.K. (India) Enterprises). p. 146. ISBN 978-81-89597-13-9.
- "Bihar governor offers resignation". BBC News. 26 January 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- "Veteran politician R S Gavai new Bihar Governor". One India. Greynium Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 22 June 2006. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
- "Congress leader and former Union minister Buta Singh passes away". The Hindustan Times. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "Former Union minister Buta Singh passes away". The Indian Express. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
- "Buta Singh Profile". Lok Sabha. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
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