Choudhary Charan Singh (23 Dec 1902 - 29 May 1987)
Choudhary Charan Singh was born in 1902 at Noorpur in Meerut district of
Uttar Pradesh. He graduated in science in 1923, and did his post-graduation from
Agra University in 1925. Also trained in law, he set up practice at Ghaziabad.
He shifted to Meerut in 1929 and later joined the Congress.
He was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1937 from Chhatrauli, and represented the constituency in 1946, 1952, 1962 and 1967. He became Parliamentary Secretary in Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant's Government in 1946 and worked in departments of Revenue, Medical and Public Health, Justice, Information etc. In June 1951, he was appointed Cabinet Minister in the State and given charge of the Departments of Justice and Information and later the Minister for Revenue and Agriculture in the Cabinet of Dr. Sampurnanand in 1952. He resigned in April 1959.
He was Minister for Home and Agriculture (1960), Minister for Agriculture and Forests (1962-63). He gave up the Department of Agriculture in 1965 and took charge of the Local Self-government department in 1966. After the Congress split, he became the Chief Minister of U.P. for the second time in February 1970 with the support of the Congress Party. However, President's Rule was imposed in the State on October 2, 1970.
He was the chief architect of land reforms in U.P.; he took a leading part in formulation and finalisation of the Dept. Redemption Bill 1939. As Chief Minister he was instrumental in bringing about the Land Holding Act 1960 which was aimed at lowering the ceiling on land holdings to make it uniform throughout the State.
Charan Singh became the fifth Prime Minister of India , serving from 28 July 1979 until 14 January 1980. He also served as Deputy Prime Minister of India before becoming Prime Minister. During his term as Prime Minister the Lok Sabha never met. The day before the Lok Sabha was due to meet for the first time the Indian National Congress withdrew their support from his Bharitiya Lok Dal Government. Charan Singh resigned and fresh elections were held six months later. He was called a friend of farmers and his memorial was named Kisan Ghat.