e mërkurë, 25 prill 2007

Vishwanath Pratap Singh

Name: Vishwanath Pratap Singh

Date of Birth: 25 June 1931

Place of Birth:

He was elected by Indira Gandhi to serve as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1980, when the Congress came back to power .As Cheif Minister, he cracked down hard on the banditry, problem, that was particularly severe in the rural districts of the south-west. He received much favourable national publicity when he offered to resign following a self-professed failure to stamp out the problem, and again when he personally saw the surrender of some of the most feared dacoits of the area in 1983.

He faced his first crisis within few days of taking office: terrorists kidnapped the daughter of his Home Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (Ex Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir). His government caved into the demand for releasing militants in exchange; partly to end the storm of criticism that followed, he shortly thereafter appointed Jagmohan, a controversial former bureaucrat, as Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, on the insistence of the BJP, who were concerned that an insufficiently hard line was being taken with the separatist element in the state. Jagmohan subsequently inflamed opinion in the Valley when he ordered troops to fire on the funeral procession of the unofficial head of Kashmiri Islam, the Mirwaiz, and shortly thereafter the Kashmir insurgency began in earnest. In contrast, in Punjab, Singh replaced the hardline Siddhartha Shankar Ray as Governor with another former bureaucrat, Nirmal Kumar Mukarji, who moved forward on a timetable for fresh elections. Singh himself made a much-publicised visit to the Golden Temple to ask forgiveness for Operation Bluestar and the combination of events caused the long rebellion in Punjab to die down markedly in a few months. V.P. Singh withdrew the IPKF from Sri Lanka after he saw that Rajiv Gandhi's Sri Lanka policy was a miserable failure having cost over 1000 Indian soldiers' lives, over 5000 Sri Lankan Tamil lives and cost over 2000 crores; and the Sri Lankan leader Premadasa wanted the IPKF to leave in March 1990.[1]

Singh himself wished to move forward nationally on social justice-related issues, which would in addition consolidate the caste coalition that supported the Janata Dal in North India, and accordingly decided to implement the recommendations of the Mandal Commission which suggested that a fixed quota of all jobs in the public sector be reserved for members of the historically disadvantaged so-called Other Backward Classes. (Generally abbreviated OBCs, these were Hindu castes, and certain non-Hindu caste-like communities, which, though not untouchable, had been socially and educationally backward). This decision led to widespread protests among the youth in urban areas in North India.

Meanwhile the BJP was moving its own agenda forward: in particular, the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation, which served as a rallying cry for several radical Hindu organisations, took on new life. The party president, Lal Krishna Advani, toured the northern states on a rath - a bus converted to look like a chariot - with the intention of drumming up support. Before he could complete it, by reaching the disputed site in Ayodhya, he was arrested on Singh's orders on the charges of disturbing the peace and fomenting communal tension. This led to the BJP's suspension of support to the National Front government. V.P.Singh faced the vote of confidence with a high moral ground that he stood for secularism ,that he saved the Babri Masjid at the cost of power and that basic principles were involved.But he lost the vote by 142-346.[2]

Chandra Shekhar immediately seized the moment and left the Janata Dal with several of his own supporters to form the Samajwadi Janata Dal, or the Socialist People's Party. Although he had a mere 64 MPs, Rajiv Gandhi, the leader of the Opposition, agreed to support him on the floor of the House so he won a confidence motion and was sworn in as Prime Minister. He lasted only a few months before Gandhi withdrew support and fresh elections were called.

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