Bhagwat Dayal Sharma
Pt Bhagwat Dayal Sharma.jpg
7th Governor of Madhya Pradesh
In office
8 October 1983 – 14 May 1984
Chief MinisterArjun Singh
Preceded byG. P. Singh (Acting)
Succeeded byK. M. Chandy
In office
10 July 1981 – 20 September 1983
Chief MinisterArjun Singh
Preceded byG. P. Singh (Acting)
Succeeded byG. P. Singh (Acting)
In office
30 April 1980 – 25 May 1981
Chief MinisterArjun Singh
Preceded byC. M. Poonacha
Succeeded byG. P. Singh (Acting)
12th Governor of Odisha
In office
23 September 1977 – 30 April 1980
Chief MinisterNilamani Routray
Preceded byHarcharan Singh Brar
Succeeded byC. M. Poonacha
1st Chief Minister of Haryana
In office
1 November 1966 – 23 March 1967
Preceded byOffice Established
Succeeded byRao Birender Singh
Personal details
Born26 January 1918
Beri, Punjab, British India
Died22 February 1993
(aged 75)
New Delhi, India
Political partyIndian National Congress
SpouseSavitri Devi

Bhagwat Dayal Sharma (26 January 1918 – 22 February 1993), popularly known as Panditji, was the first Chief Minister of the Indian state of Haryana and later Governor of Odisha and Madhya Pradesh from 30 April 1980 to 14 May 1984. He is one of the greatest leaders of Haryana and his legacy is celebrated even today.[1]

Personal life

He was born in Beri, a town in the Jhajjar district of Haryana on 26 January 1918. Bansi Lal, Bhajan Lal and many other noted politicians learned politics under his guidance.

He married Savitri Devi and they had six children; three sons and three daughters. He was educated at Banaras Hindu University, Banaras. His eldest son Sh. Rajesh Sharma became Sports Minister of Haryana and Deputy Chairman of the State's Planning Board. After his wife Savitri's death, Panditji built "Savitri Nikunj", in her memory, an exotic garden with indigenous and rare plants and trees at Raj Bhawan in Bhopal.

Independence movement and political career

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Sharma became Chief Minister of Haryana on 1 November 1966 then resigned to be replaced by Rao Birender Singh on 24 March 1967.[2]

Appointed Governor of Odisha in 1977, during his time in the state, he became patron of many social and cultural institutions. To develop tourism in Odisha, he suggested that the summer Raj Bhavan at Puri should be converted to a high class hotel for international tourists with facilities for golf, swimming and tennis as well as a large hall for holding conferences. The Indian Tourist Development Corporation (ITDC) was subsequently asked to take up the venture. Sharma was also actively involved in the administrative committee of the Hindu Jagannath temple in Puri. He decided to side with the syndicate after the expulsion of Indira Gandhi from the Congress. He subsequently transferred to Madhya Pradesh since the Odisha climate did not suit his health.

During his career, Panditji travelled to Switzerland, the UK, the USSR, Germany, USA, and a number of other European countries.


He died on 22 February 1993 because of gradual declining health and old age.[citation needed] Huge numbers of people from all over world attended his funeral. His cremation took place at Beri (the village, he was born at), Jhajjar, Haryana. A tomb place has been built at the site of his cremation in Beri.


Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak named after him incorporates Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences.


  1. ^ "Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly), Madhya Pradesh, India". Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  2. ^ Khanna, S.K. (1999). Contemporary Indian Politics. Discovery Publishing House. pp. 112–3. ISBN 978-81-7141-445-1.
Preceded byC. M. Poonacha (first term); G. P. Singh (second term)G. P. Singh (third term) Governor of Madhya Pradesh 30 April 1980 – 25 May 1981 (first term); 10 July 1981 – 20 September 1983 (second term); 8 October 1983 – 14 May 1984 (third term) Succeeded byG. P. Singh; G. P. Singh (second term) Kizhekethil Chandy(third term) Preceded byCheppudira Muthanna Poonacha Governor of Odisha 23 September 1977 – 30 April 1980 Succeeded byHarcharan Singh Brar