Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
Shekhawat in 2004
11th Vice President of India
In office
19 August 2002 – 21 July 2007
PresidentA. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Manmohan Singh
Preceded byKrishan Kant
Succeeded byMohammad Hamid Ansari
8th Chief Minister of Rajasthan
In office
4 December 1993 – 1 December 1998
Preceded byPresident's rule
Succeeded byAshok Gehlot
In office
4 March 1990 – 15 December 1992
Preceded byHari Dev Joshi
Succeeded byPresident's rule
In office
22 June 1977 – 16 February 1980
Preceded byHari Dev Joshi
Succeeded byJagannath Pahadia
Personal details
Born(1925-10-23)23 October 1925
Khachariyawas, Rajputana Agency, British India
(present-day Rajasthan, India)
Died15 May 2010(2010-05-15) (aged 84)
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
SpouseSuraj Kanwar
ChildrenRatan Rajvi
AwardsPadma Bhushan (2003)

Bhairon Singh Shekhawat (23 October 1925 – 15 May 2010) was an Indian politician who served as the 11th vice president of India. He served in that position from August 2002, when he was elected to a five-year term by the electoral college following the death of Krishan Kant, until he resigned on 21 July 2007, after losing the presidential election to Pratibha Patil. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He served as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan three times, from 1977 to 1980, 1990 to 1992 and 1993 to 1998. He represented several constituencies in Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha from 1952 to 2002. He was also awarded Padma Bhushan in the year 2003.

Early life

He was born in 1925 to a Rajput family[1][2][3][4] in the village of Khachriyawas, then in Sikar district, Rajputana Agency, British India.[5] His father Devi Singh was a farmer of the village and his mother, Bane Kanwar was a housewife.[6] He was very good in studies and completed high school but was unable to complete college due to his father's death. He had to support his family. He worked as a farmer and an officer sub-inspector of police.[7] After working in Police Department for few years he saw his interest in the politics and joined Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1950. In the year 1952, he resigned from the position of Police Inspector to contest Elections in Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.[8]


Referred to as "Rajasthan ka ek hi Singh"[9] (The only lion of Rajasthan) or "Babosa" (Head of the family of Rajasthan) and affectionately as Bhairon Baba, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat entered politics in 1952. In 1952 he was MLA from Ramgarh, in 1957 from Sri Madhopur, 1962 and 1967 he was MLA from Kisan Pol.[10] In 1972 elections he lost but in 1973 he was elected to Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh.[10] In 1975 during emergency he was arrested and sent to Rohtak jail.[10][11] He remains the only Non-Congress politician to be the Chief minister of Rajasthan 3 times[8] and was the first Vice President of India from BJP.[12]

Political career

Janata Party

After emergency in 1977 he became MLA from Chhabra as Janata Party candidate.[10] In that year the Janata Party won 151 of the 200 seats in the state assembly elections of Rajasthan and Shekhawat took over as the first non Congress Chief Minister of Rajasthan in 1977. His government was dismissed by Indira Gandhi in 1980.[10]

Bharatiya Janata Party

In 1980, Shekhawat joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and became MLA again from Chabda and was leader of opposition. In 1985, he was MLA from Nimbahera.[13] However, in 1989 an alliance[14] between the BJP and the Janata Dal won all 25 of the Rajasthan seats in the Lok Sabha and also 138[15] seats (BJP:84+Janata Dal:54)[15] in the 1990 elections to the Ninth[15] Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. Shekhawat once again became Chief Minister of Rajasthan and was MLA from Dholpur.[10] His government was dismissed in 1992 and President's rule imposed.[10][15]

In the next elections, in 1993, Shekhawat led the BJP to be the single largest party, winning 96 seats. He himself contested from two seats, becoming MLA from Bali, but he lost from Ganganagar seat where he finished third and Congress candidate Radheshyam Ganganagar won. Three BJP-supported independents also won seats and other independents who supported the BJP took its total to 116. And Shekhawat became Chief Minister of Rajasthan for third time.[10]

In 1998, Shekhawat was elected from Bali again but the BJP lost power and Shekhawat became Leader of Opposition in the legislative assembly.[10] Shekhawat won every election to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, except in 1972 when he lost from Gandhi Nagar in Jaipur, and in Ganganagar he lost in 1993 and Congress leader Radheshyam Ganganagar won.[16]

In the 1999 general elections, he had recommended the BJP to give Prem Singh Rathore from Hyderabad, a close friend a ticket from Maharajganj(now goshamahal)and helped him win his elections and established strong BJP presence in North Andhra Region. Shekhawat also helped Rathore in his daughters marriage by fixing the marriage with a relative.

Shekhawat was elected as the Vice-President of India in 2002, when he defeated the opposition candidate, Sushil Kumar Shinde by a margin of 149 votes out of the 750 votes polled.[17]

In July 2007, Shekhawat fought the presidential election as an independent candidate backed by National Democratic Alliance as a popular presidential candidate next to A. P. J. Abdul Kalam; but lost to the United Progressive Alliance-Left backed candidate Pratibha Patil. He became the first vice-president to lose presidential election. Following this defeat, Shekhawat resigned from the post of vice-president on 21 July 2007.[citation needed]

Notable Policies

Against Sati Pratha

Shekhawat played the most crucial role in removing Sati (practice) from Rajasthan[18] as a part of their culture, especially among Rajput community.[19] At the time of 1987 when a 18 years old girl 'Roop Kanwar' was burnt as Sati,[20] then the matter came in controversy. Then at that time without thinking about his votebank, he put a total ban on this practice.[21][22]

Antyoday Yojna

Shekhawat started the "Antyoday Yojna" scheme, which was intended to uplift the poorest of the poor. The chairman of the World Bank, Robert McNamara, referred to him as the Rockefeller of India.[23]

Powerful Administration

Shekhawat was also known for his control over bureaucracy and the police. He had involvement in policies designed to improve literacy and industrialisation in Rajasthan, as well as tourism centred on the themes of heritage, wildlife and villages. He was also lauded by both, national and international leaders for his historic conduct of the Rajya Sabha.[24][25]


Bhairon Singh Shekhawat succumbed to cancer and other related health problems, and died on 15 May 2010 at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur.[23] He was cremated the next day, at a plot of land provided by the government of Rajasthan, where his memorial is now built. His funeral was attended by thousands of people. He was survived by his wife, Suraj Kanwar and his only daughter, Ratan Rajvi who is married to BJP leader Narpat Singh Rajvi.[26]

His wife, Suraj Kanwar (1927–2013), died on 9 March 2013 at the age of 86, after outliving her husband by two to three years and was cremated at Shekhawat's memorial as per her last wish.

Electoral history

Vice President Shekhawat along with former Governor of Odisha Rameshwar Thakur.
Vice President Shekhawat inspecting guard of honor at Biju Patnaik International Airport.

Shekhawat was a member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly on the following occasions:[27]

Offices held

He held the following offices:

See also


  1. ^ Roytalukdar, Rakhee. "Vasundhara Raje may falter in Rajasthan CM race". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 25 June 2024. Both their CMs Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Raje are from upper castes. Shekhawat was a Rajput and .....
  2. ^ "Rajput votes at stake in Rajasthan, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat legacy a new front in BJP, Cong battle". The Indian Express. 22 May 2023. Retrieved 25 June 2024. To this day, Shekhawat remains the Rajput community's biggest leader from Rajasthan.
  3. ^ "Rajasthan: Bhairon Singh Shekhawat legacy unmatched, discontent cloud over Rajput votes". The Indian Express. 7 November 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2024. Eight years after the death of the stalwart Rajput leader, several leaders within the BJP feel that though Shekhawat's legacy remains unparalleled, the party itself has changed.
  4. ^ "The Rediff On The NeT Election Special: Run-up to the Rajasthan assembly election". Rediff. November 1998. Retrieved 25 June 2024. Shekhawat was born on October 23, 1923, in Khachariyavas village, Sikar district, in a poor Rajput family.
  5. ^ "राजपूतों को आईना दिखाने वाले भैरों सिंह शेखावत". BBC News हिंदी (in Hindi). 23 October 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Sh. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat | Vice President of India | Government of India". Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  7. ^ "India's 11th Vice President Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat | BeAnInspirer". Be An Inspirer. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  8. ^ a b "भैरोंसिंह शेखावत ने सीकर के थानेदार से लेकर देश के उपराष्ट्रपति तक का सफर ऐसे तय किया". Patrika News (in Hindi). 23 October 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Thousands bid farewell to Shekhawat - IBNLive". Archived from the original on 18 May 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Singhal, Rabul (2007). Bhairon Singh Shekhawat edited by Rabul Singhal. Pentagon Press. p. 106. ISBN 9788186830611.
  11. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (1999). The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s ... By Christophe Jaffrelot. Penguin Books India. p. 277. ISBN 9780140246025.
  12. ^ Parihar, Rohit (7 January 2009). "Bhairon Singh Shekhawat embarrasses BJP". India Today. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  13. ^ "Nimbahera Elections Results 2018, Current MLA, Candidate List of Assembly Elections in Nimbahera, Rajasthan". Elections in India. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  14. ^ "The 1989 Advani Parallel for Modi in 2014". Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  15. ^ a b c d "House Tenure - Rajasthan Legislative Assembly". Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Former vice president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat dead - India News". Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Bhairon Singh Shekhawat uses political skills to win vice-presidential polls : INDIASCOPE - India Today". 26 August 2002. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  18. ^ RAJALAKSHMI, T. K. (11 March 2004). "'Sati' and the verdict". Frontline. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Life and deeds of the late Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat!". 17 May 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  20. ^ "India's last known case of sati: 'She ceased to be a woman… was a Goddess'". The Indian Express. 22 September 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  21. ^ "Am confident that I will win: Shekhawat". Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Celebrating A Death | Outlook India Magazine". Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  23. ^ a b "Former Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat dead". The Times of India. PTI. 15 May 2010. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  24. ^ "Press Information Bureau English Releases". Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  25. ^ "Bhairon Singh Shekhawat - Former Vice President of India". Shekhawat.Com. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  26. ^ "Thousands bid farewell to Shekhawat". The Hindu. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  27. ^ "Opposition Leader - RLA". Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  28. ^ "Rajasthan Assembly Election Results in 1951". Elections in India. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  29. ^ "Rajasthan Assembly Election Results in 1957". Elections in India. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  30. ^ "Rajasthan Assembly Election Results in 1962". Elections in India. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Rajasthan 1972". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  32. ^ "Rajasthan Assembly Election Results in 1972". Elections in India. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  33. ^ "Rajasthan 1972". Election Commission of India.
  34. ^ Jain, M. P. (30 November 1977). "Rajasthan CM Bhairon Singh Shekhawat faces unexpected opposition". India Today. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  35. ^ "Rajasthan Assembly Election Results in 1980". Elections in India. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  36. ^ "Rajasthan Assembly Election Results in 1985". Elections in India. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  37. ^ "Rajasthan Assembly Election Results in 1990". Elections in India. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  38. ^ "Rajasthan Assembly Election Results in 1993". Elections in India. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  39. ^ "Rajasthan Assembly Election Results in 1998". Elections in India. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
Political offices Preceded byHari Dev Joshi Chief Minister of Rajasthan 1977–1980 Succeeded byJagannath Pahadia Chief Minister of Rajasthan 1990–1992 Succeeded byPresident's rule Preceded byPresident's rule Chief Minister of Rajasthan 1993–1998 Succeeded byAshok Gehlot Preceded byKrishan Kant Vice-President of India 2002–2007 Succeeded byMohammad Hamid Ansari