Digamber Singh

Digamber Singh was a Bharatiya Janata Party leader. He served as cabinet minister in Government of Rajasthan led by Vasundhara Raje. He represented Deeg-Kumher constituency of Bharatpur district in the assembly. Served in Government Medical Department until 1992. He was first elected to assembly in 1993. He served first as Minister of Health and later from 2009 as Industries Minister. He was President of "Bees Sutri Karyakram" and was Cabinet Minister. He was later appointed the Minister of " Four Important Schemes of Rajasthan".[1]

Dr. Digamber Singh
Dr. Digamber Singh.png
Minister of Health Dr. Digamber Singh in 2004.
ConstituencyDeeg-Kumher
MLA
In office
1993-2013
ConstituencyKumher
Cabinet Minister-Minister Of Health, Ayurveda and Family Welfare, Government of Rajasthan
In office
2003-2008
ConstituencyDeeg-Kumher
Cabinet Minister-Minister Of Industries, Government of Rajasthan
In office
2008-2009
ConstituencyKumher
Vice President of Rajasthan, Bharatiya Janata Party
In office
2013-2015
Chairman of Twenty Point Programme
In office
3rd May 2015 - 27th October 2017
Cabinet Minister Incharge of Four additional schemes, Government of Rajasthan
In office
9th September 2016 - 27th October 2017
Personal details
Born(1951-10-01)1 October 1951
Barkhera Faujdar, Bharatpur[clarification needed], Rajasthan
Died27 October 2017(2017-10-27) (aged 66)
Jaipur, Rajasthan
Cause of deathMultiple Organ Failure
Resting placeDr. Digamber Singh "Samadhi", Bharatpur, Rajasthan
NationalityIndian
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s)
Asha Singh
(m. 1976)
ChildrenDr. Shilpi Singh and Dr. Shailesh Singh
Parent(s)Jawahar Singh & Ramkali Devi
Residence354-55 Hanuman Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan
EducationBharatpur, Rajasthan
Alma materDr. Sampurnanand Medical College, Jodhpur

Early lifeEdit

Singh was born on 1 October 1951[citation needed] at village Barkhera Faujdar in Bharatpur to a Hindu Jat family, his father Jawahar Singh was a "Patwari". He attended school in his village first and later in Bharatpur. Singh was a bright student with an aspiration to be a Doctor. He once popularly said- "I am going to replace the K from Kunwar Digamber Singh with a D to Dr. Digamber Singh". He later came for hid studies in Jaipur, where he is said to have slept by joining benches of his classroom. He further went to Dr. Sampurnanand Medical College, Jodhpur for his MBBS.

Medical careerEdit

Singh went on from nothing to opening his own hospital, today known as Shree Digamber Hospital in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. He is popularly remembered as a fair and hard-working doctor, who used to give free treatment to the very poor and even pay for their transportation. His acts soon gained him huge popularity within Bharatpur paving way for his political career. Today his Shree Digamber group owns multiple hospitals and nursing colleges.

Political careerEdit

 
Singh at the Pinnacle of his Career
 
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje ties "Rakhi" to Minister Digamber Singh in 2017
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaign in support of Digamber Singh

Singh joined the Bharatiya Janta Party in late 1980's. He was appointed at first, the Bharatpur district president of the Bharatiya Janta Party in early 1990's. His tenure as District President is widely remembered as the reason for the Party's establishment in Eastern Rajasthan. He was first elected to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly in 1993 from Kumher in Bharatpur at the age of 43. He later fought, and lost in the 1996 general election to Natwar Singh. He was re-elected in 1998 as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). By now, Singh also had close relationship with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which helped him become a Cabinet Minister.[importance?]. He went on to win the 2003 Rajasthan election from Kumher and was further appointed Cabinet Minister Of Health in Government of Rajasathan under the leadership of Vasundhara Raje. He found success here too and was termed as the "Trouble-shooting Minister" of the Vasundhara Government. Under his able leadership, the department of Health also reached new heights, and several benefiting schemes and awareness campaigns were launched. Singh's most remarkable achievement is considered to be the "108 Ambulance Seva"[who?]. He also played a crucial role in the 'Gujjar Agitation' in Rajasthan. Later, he was appointed as the Cabinet Minister Of Industries and showed his potential here too. Under his leadership, many shut factories were reopened and the FDI in Rajasthan increased as more and more companies invested in the state. Employment grew drastically under him. Singh then won the 2008 election for the fourth consecutive time from Deeg-Kumher, defeating the former royal of Bharatpur, Vishvendra Singh. Singh served as a MLA, as the Bharatiya Janta Party was voted out of power. However, this didn't stop his vision for development; he focused on his home-city, Bharatpur, and fostered the growth of the region by getting a Medical College, Engineering College, a stadium, a museum and a 4 Lane highway for the region. He also got the region included in the Delhi NCR, and also made Bharatpur a "Sambhag". He also got done the decades pending "Mandhera Chaardiwari". All these accomplishments got him the widely accepted title of "Vikas Purush" or "The Man of Development". Singh was a strong voice of the party in the assembly and a sharp critic of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Despite all this, Singh lost the 2013 elections due to what was called "Dirty Political Games" of the opposition, as the Bharatiya Janta Party was voted back in power and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje desperately wanted her strongman in the cabinet, so Dr. Singh was asked to contest the by poll from Surajgarh, Jhunjhunu. Raje declared openly in that election, that the people of Surajgarh were choosing a Cabinet Minister and not a mere MLA. Dr. Singh miraculously got 60000+ votes in 15 days from an unknown constituency, however he lost by a mere margin of 3000 votes. Nevertheless, he was appointed as President of the "20-Point Programme" and was given the status of a Cabinet Minister on 3rd May 2015. He was later also made the in charge of the "4 important govt. schemes" and had a superior hand on Four Cabinet Ministers related to these schemes. After this, he was seen as a "Super Cabinet Minister" and even the "Unannounced Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan", he however denied these and termed them as 'preposterous' in an interview to DNA in 2016. Singh throughout his political career had maintained a clean and altruistic image, people considered him as a leader, who would help them in their hour of need, no matter the place they come from or how big there issue was. Singh consideredRajendra Singh Rathore as his closest friend, despite both being politicians; their friendship is viewed by the people on a completely different level, giving an insight in Dr. Singh's personality. Meanwhile Singh, accomplished all his aims in these department despite his failing health. In 2017, Singh played a crucial role in the "Jat agitation" and was responsible to get the matter solved which caught the attention of the whole nation. He was also the "Vice-President" of Rajasthan BJP for over 2 years.

Membership of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly
SI No. Assembly Tenure Constituency Party
1. 10th Rajasthan

Legislative Assembly

1993-1998 Kumher Bharatiya Janata Party
2. 11th Rajasthan

Legislative Assembly

1998-2003
3. 12th Rajasthan

Legislative Assembly

2003-2008
4. 13th Rajasthan

Legislative Assembly

2008-2013 Deeg-Kumher
Positions Held In Government of Rajasthan
SI. No Post Department of Ministry Tenure
1. Cabinet

Minister

Medical and Health Services (ESI), Medical Education, Ayurveda, Family Welfare & Indian Medical Methods 2003-2008
2. Cabinet

Minister

Industry State Enterprise 2008-2009
3. Cabinet

Minister

Twenty Point Programme & Four Additional Schemes 2015-2017

Personal Life and FamilyEdit

Singh married Asha Singh on the 19th of January 1976. His first child was a daughter and later also a doctor Dr. Shilpi Singh born: 9th Jan 1979 and his second child was a son; who also pursued medical field, Dr. Shailesh Singh born: 20th July 1980. Dr. Shailesh just like his father is a doctor turned politician and is continuing on his father's footsteps. He is currently President of Bharatiya Janata Party, Bharatpur; the post once held by Dr. Singh himself in his early days as a politician. Dr. Singh resides with his family in Bharatpur.

On 30th August 2021; Dr. Singh's wife Smt. Asha Digamber Singh died after a prolonged illness battling cancer. She breathed her last in Jaipur's EHCC, Hospital at 10:20 PM. She was on the same bed, room and was being treated by the same doctor (Dr. RS Khedar) as Dr. Singh himself almost 4 years ago. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders from Rajasthan and the country have expressed their heartfelt condolences and grief. Mrs. Singh was 65.

IllnessEdit

 
Singh at the beginning of his Illness, here as a Cabinet Minister

Singh was diagnosed with stage 4 "Pancreatic Cancer" in March 2015, he had complained of back-pain. At the time he was busy with the Delhi Elections 2015. On the 3rd day after his diagnosis he was flown to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City for a surgery which was reported "successful". In October 2015, he went in for 12 hour major surgery in Lakshore Hospital Kochi, Kerala by Dr. H. Ramesh. Singh was very much familiar with his illness as he himself was a doctor, his decision to go in for another major surgery in such a short interval was heavily protested by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje; but in the end Singh had his way. Despite all this he was very much active in public life. In 2016 Dr. Singh flew to Portugal for Radio Therapy. In 2017 for about 2-3 months Dr. Singh, flew to Singapore for Chemotherapy; He flew to Singapore on every Monday and returned on Wednesday. He also had his Chemotherapy in Jaipur. By the other half of 2017, Dr Singh's failing health had taken a toll over him and his appearance changed to a very fragile, sick and weak man. Yet, he was active and sharp in his daily tasks. On 1st October 2017, Singh celebrated his 66th Birthday with his supporters, over a 110,000 attended the massive event along with a dozen ministers and numerous MPs and MLAs. Singh didn't give any speech on his birthday; as he was too weak to stand for long durations or to speak clearly. On the 5th of October 2017, Dr. Singh gave his last interview to Network18 Group in Jaipur. On the 8th of October Singh appeared to witness a Kabbadi match in Jaipur along with numerous bollywood celebrities and politicians. On the 17th of October, Singh made his last public appearance as well as held his last press conference in Deeg-Kumher; over 50,000 people attended the programme. It was here that, Dr Singh said his last words in Public; that day he was able to speak only one sentence due to his illness. He said, "तन समर्पित, मन समर्पित, लो मेरा जीवन समर्पित।". Which means, "Body dedicated, mind and soul dedicated and now my life is dedicated" (for the people). These words continue to circulate among people till date. Singh met numerous supporters of his that day, generally due too his poor immunity; Singh's security would ensure that no one would reach the minister, without sanitization, gloves and facial mask. However, that day because of instructions from the minister himself, they allowed people to meet the leader; soon Singh's chair was surrounded by hundreds of people and the guards standing with him found it difficult to control the situation. The next day, Singh was hospitalised in Jaipur after his condition worsened. It is believed that, Dr. Singh caught an infection that day due to interaction with the people without proper precautions. Singh was placed in Critical Care in EHCC Hospital Jaipur under the care of Dr. RS. Khedar. Singh even caught Swine Flu, however he recovered from it. In their daily media briefings on the ailing minister's health, Dr. Khedar said that "we are witnessing day by day improvement". By 26th October 2017 Dr. Khedar and his team were planning to shift Singh in the room from the ICU, however Dr. Singh had severe back pain that day and no medicine seemed to work. It was then that Dr. Singh himself wrote down a medicine and instructed Dr. Khedar too inject it. That gave the ailing leader some relief but in a major turn of events, Singh went in multiple-organ failure by late evening of 26th October 2017, He was placed on life support system early on 27th of October 2017.

DeathEdit

Singh died on 27 October 2017 after a prolonged illness battling with stage-four Pancreatic cancer, diagnosed in April 2015[citation needed]. He had undergone treatment in the US, Singapore and Portugal. He was admitted to Jaipur's EHCC Hospital on 18 October 2017[citation needed] after his condition worsened. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, along with several other BJP leaders, reached the hospital to express their grief. He was survived by his son, Dr. Shailesh Singh, daughter Dr. Shilpi Singh, and wife Asha. He had served as a cabinet minister in Rajasthan Government led by Vasundhara Raje. 1 day state-mourning was declared in Rajasthan and the national flags were flown at half-mast; his funeral was a "state funeral" done with "Full State Honours".[2] Over 250,000 people attended Singh's funeral; despite the fact, that his funeral was organised just 6 hours after his demise was declared. Senior party leaders and Cabinet Ministers from all over India; were present at his funeral. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Party President Amit Shah offered there "Deep and sincere condolences", on the demise of the Jat Stalwart.

AftermathEdit

Singh's absence in the political field was realized almost immediately after his demise. Singh had such a strong hold in Eastern Rajasthan that after his demise, the party won only 1 out of the 19 seats there and was one of the major reasons for the Bharatiya Janata Party being voted out of power in the 2018 election. His down to earth attitude, despite being one of the most powerful in the state, is remembered widely across Rajasthan, as is his almost three decade political journey. Singh's untimely demise has created a power vacuum within the party and in the state. Singh's strong and bold voice, his managing skills as well as his firm grip over voters had always helped the party. He was also the party's "Trouble-shooting leader" and was known for handling internal disputes within the Bharatiya Janata Party.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Deccan Herald - It's king v/s Singh in Deeg-Kumher". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  2. ^ Former Rajasthan minister Digamber Singh passes away