Shivraj V. Patil
Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh
In office
22 January 2010 – 21 January 2015
PresidentPratibha Patil
Pranab Mukherjee
Preceded bySunith Francis Rodrigues
Succeeded byKaptan Singh Solanki
Minister for Home Affairs
In office
22 May 2004 – 30 November 2008[1]
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byLal Krishna Advani
Succeeded byP. Chidambaram
10th Speaker of Lok Sabha
In office
10 July 1991 – 22 May 1996
DeputyS. Mallikarjunaiah
Preceded byRabi Ray
Succeeded byP.A. Sangma
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
18 January 1980 – 17 May 2004
Preceded byUdhavrao Patil
Succeeded byRupatai Patil
ConstituencyLatur, Maharasthra
Personal details
Born (1935-10-12) 12 October 1935 (age 88)
Latur, Hyderabad State, British India
Political partyIndian National Congress
SpouseVijaya Patil
ChildrenShailesh Patil, Swapna Patil
ParentVishwanath Patil
Residence(s)Chakur, Latur, Maharashtra, India
EducationBachelor of science, LLB
Alma materOsmania university, Mumbai university

Shivraj Vishwanath Patil (born 12 October 1935) is an Indian politician who was the Minister of Home Affairs of India, from 2004 to 2008 and 10th Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 1991 to 1996. He was Governor of the state of Punjab and Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh from 2010 to 2015.[2] Previously, he served in the Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi cabinets as Minister of Defence during the 1980s.

Patil resigned from the post of Home Minister on 30 November 2008, following widespread criticism raised after terrorist attacks on Mumbai, and took moral responsibility for the security lapse that led to the attacks.[3]

Early life

Patil was born on 12 October 1935 in the village of Chakur in the Latur district (Marathwada region) of the then princely state of Hyderabad, now Maharashtra, India. He attended Osmania University, Hyderabad, earning a degree in Science and studied law at Bombay University. During 1967–69, he was involved in local government (Latur Municipality). Keshavrao Sonawane and Manikrao Sonawane helped Shivaraj Patil to get his first break to stand from Latur Constituency.[4]

Patil belongs to the Lingayat community.[5] He married Vijaya Patil in June 1963, and has two children - a son and a daughter - with her.[6] He is also a devout follower of Sathya Sai Baba.

In state politics

From 1973 to 1980, he was legislator of Latur Rural Constituency of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for two terms of 1973 to 1978 and 1978 to 1980 during which time he held various positions such as Chairman of Public Undertakings Committee, Deputy Minister (Law & Judiciary, Irrigation, Protocol), Deputy Speaker of the Assembly and Speaker of the Assembly.

In central politics

In 1980, he was elected to the 7th Lok Sabha from Latur constituency. By 1999, he had won seven successive Lok Sabha elections in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 1999. In 2004 Lok Sabha election, he lost to Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Rupatai Patil Nilangekar.

In government

This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately.Find sources: "Shivraj Patil" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (March 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Shivraj Patil in his office after taking over the charge of the Union Minister of Home in New Delhi on May 24, 2004.Seen beside him are political leaders from Maharashtra.

First inducted in the Indira Gandhi-led government in as Minister of State for Defence (1980–82), he was given independent charge of the Commerce Ministry (1982–83), from where he was shifted to Science and Technology, Atomic Energy, Electronics, Space and Ocean Development (1983–84). During 1983–86, he was vice-president of CSIR India. He also served on various committees including those on Defence, External Affairs, Finance, Salaries and Allowances of members of parliament.

In the Rajiv Gandhi government, he was Minister for Personnel, Defence production and later held independent charge of Civil Aviation and Tourism.

He has also held a number of important positions in the party ever since Sonia Gandhi took over the presidency of the party. He is largely known for introducing the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award, India in 1992. He was the chairman of the manifesto committee of the party during the 1999 Lok Sabha election.

As speaker of the Lok Sabha, he had begun or contributed in initiatives on information dissemination to members of the Parliament (through computerisation and modernisation), construction of Parliament Library Building and broadcast of Lok Sabha proceedings, including live broadcast of Question Hour of both houses of the parliament.

Between 1991 and 1995, he was a member/leader of Indian parliamentary delegations to various international parliamentary conferences.

He became Home Minister in 2004. A former Lok Sabha speaker, Shivraj Patil lost in the 2004 polls from Latur in Maharashtra, but has still landed up the second most important position in the Union Cabinet—that of the Home Minister. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in July 2004. It is also said if not for losing the election he would have been the Prime Minister, and the reason he lost the election was due to the opponent getting sympathy vote for losing a family member who was a mass leader. His tenure as home minister was marred by one debacle after another and he faced increasing calls for his resignation, eventually forcing it due to the mishandling in the events leading up to and after the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Not to be forgotten also are the 2006 Malegaon bombings, at a Muslim graveyard.[7]

United States Ambassador David Mulford in an embassy cable described his removal after the Mumbai terrorist attack as inevitable and called him "inept" and "asleep on the watch".[8][9][10][11][12]

Patil is accused for not sending the Central Reserve Police Force to Nandigram, even after repeated requests by the West Bengal government, to restore law and order in the area and the events resulted in police firing and killing of men and women in Nandigram.

Patil's name was considered a likely candidate in 2007 presidential election. However, after the Left opposed his candidacy, Sonia Gandhi proposed Pratibha Patil, Governor of Rajasthan, as the presidential candidate. Shivraj Patil was later considered a possible candidate for the post of Vice-President of India.

On 30 November 2008, just four days after Bombay blasts, Patil resigned from his position of Home Minister in Union Cabinet taking moral responsibility for the security lapse that led to the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Post 26/11, Shivraj Patil was made the Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator from 2010[13] to 2015[14]


Shivraj Patil is referred to as Nero of India. He was reported to have been changing clothes for public appearances while the country was under a terror attack. His actions are compared to Nero who played his fiddle while the city burned as Patil focused on changing his clothes while the country was witnessing a terror attack.[15][16][17] He is also criticized to have omitted this episode from his autobiography.[18]


  1. ^ Home Minister Shivraj Patil steps down. Retrieved on 29 December 2011.
  2. ^ Express News Service (23 January 2010). "Shivraj Patil takes oath as UT Administrator". Indian Express. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  3. ^ Shivraj Patil resigns. (30 November 2008). Retrieved on 29 December 2011.
  4. ^ Patil, Shivraj V. (31 May 2014). ODYSSEY OF MY LIFE. ISBN 9788129134271. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  5. ^ Who is Shivraj Patil? Archived 19 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 29 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Shri Shivraj Vishwanath Patil". Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link).
  7. ^ Blasts kill 37 in India graveyard
  8. ^ "'Inept' Shivraj Patil was protected by Sonia: US cables". Indian Express. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  9. ^ "WikiLeaks: US felt removal of Shivraj Patil was inevitable after 26/11". The Times of India. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  10. ^ "See 9c of US embassy cables: Indian government heads roll after Mumbai terror attacks". The Guardian. London. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  11. ^ "US felt removal of Shivraj Patil after 26/11 was inevitable: WikiLeaks". Daily News and Analysis. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  12. ^ "Shivraj Patil spectacularly inept: David Mulford". The Economic Times. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  13. ^ "Shivraj Patil takes oath as UT Administrator - Indian Express".
  14. ^ "Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil retires on completion of five-year term". The Economic Times.
  15. ^ "Patil changes shirts as capital suffers". 15 September 2008.
  16. ^ "Shivraj Patil - Nero reborn". Archived from the original on 25 October 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Of thick hides and soft underbelly". Archived from the original on 6 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Shivraj Patil airbrushes 26/11 from his autobiography | India News - Times of India". The Times of India.
Preceded byPranab Mukherjee Minister of Defence 15 January 1980 – 2 December 1989 Succeeded byShankarao Chavan Preceded byRabi Ray Speaker of Lok Sabha 1991–1996 Succeeded byP.A.Sangma Preceded byL.K. Advani Home Minister of India 2004–2008 Succeeded byP. Chidambaram Preceded bySunith Francis Rodrigues Governor of Punjab & Administrator of Chandigarh January 2010 – January 2015 Succeeded byKaptan Singh Solanki