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Jaswant Singh Biography

Jaswant Singh

Jaswant Singh

DOB Jan 3, 1938
Place of Birth Jasol, Barmer district, Rajasthan.
Political Party Bharatiya Janata Party
Religion Hindu
EducationB.A., B.Sc. Educated at Mayo College, Ajmer, Joint Services Wing, Clement Town, Dehradun. N.D.A. Khadakvasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
Profession before joining politics Officer in the Indian Army.
Spouse Name Sheetal Kumari
Children Manvendra Singh
Important positions held
  • Minister of Finance ( 1 July 2002 - 21 May 2004)
  • Minister of Defence ( 2 January 2000 - 18 October 2001)
  • Minister of External Affairs (5 December 1998 - 5 December 2002)

Jaswant Singh Losing Barmer

Jaswant Singh, a former BJP leader, who was contesting as an Independent candidate, lost to Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) candidate Col. Sona Ram from the Barmer constituency in Rajasthan. Barmer is the second largest district in the state of Rajasthan.

He garnered 4,01,286 votes, while the BJP candidate secured 4,88,747 votes, having won with a margin of around 87,461 votes. Congress Party's Harish Chaudhary stood at the third position with 2,20,881 votes.

Jaswant Singh is a former BJP leader, who recently left the party and decided to contest at an independent ticket, as the party wanted him to contest from another constituency other than his hometown Barmer. And, Singh was adamant to contest from Barmer and even claimed that he would win. Singh was later expelled from the BJP, as he refused to withdraw his nomination from the Barmer constituency as an independent candidate.

Being a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he has held many portfolios in the national cabinet including Finance, External Affairs and Defence.

The winning leader Col. Sona Ram is known to have recently joined the BJP after leaving the Congress party.

About Jaswant Singh

Jaswant Singh is known as an Indian politician. He was a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, until he filed as an Independent candidate for the 2014 General Elections from the Barmer (Raj.) constituency. He has been expelled from the BJP for a period of six years. During the NDA regime (1998-2004), he handled several key portfolios including Defence, External Affairs and Finance. He was also the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha from 2004 to 2009. Jaswant Singh was also nominated as BJP's Vice presidential candidate in 2012. He is known for his daring diplomatic moves and liberal approach towards politics. His books have been under criticism for questioning BJP's political decisions and eulogizing Muhammad Ali Jinnah – the founder of Pakistan. Presently, he is the member of the Lok Sabha representing the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency.

Jaswant Singh's Family Background

Singh was born in a Rajput family in Rajasthan's Barmer district on 3 January 1938. His father was Thakur Sardara Singh and mother was Kunwar Baisa. He did his schooling from Mayo College in Ajmer before joining the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. Singh had a stint with the Indian Army as an officer during the 1960s. He continues to nurture interest in defence issues. He has been the member of the Defence Services Institute; Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies and International Institute of Strategic Studies, London. Singh married Sheetal Kumari and the couple have two sons.

How did Jaswant Singh Enter Politics?

Although Singh forayed into politics in the late 60s, his initial stint was marred by the lack of any significant success. He was inducted in the Jan Sangh, by the BJP leader Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who is considered as Singh’s political mentor. It was only in 1980, when Singh was appointed as a member of the upper house of the parliament that his growth trajectory as a politician started to improve.

Jaswant Singh's Political Journey

  • Jaswant Singh's noteworthy beginning as a politician began in 1980, when he got elected to the Rajya Sabha. He was re-elected for the second term in 1986.
  • Between 1986 and 1989, he served as the member of three Rajya Sabha Committees; Public Accounts Committee, Committee on Privileges, and Committee on Public Undertakings.
  • In 1987, he was chosen as a Member of the Consultative Committee constituted under the Punjab State.
  • In 1989, he was elected to the ninth Lok Sabha. Singh was re-elected to the tenth Lok Sabha in 1991.
  • He held the position of the Chairman of the Estimate Committee from 1991 to 1996. In the same year, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Forests.
  • After the end of a brief stint, he became the member of a Joint Parliamentary Committee in 1992. He was given the responsibility to enquire into Irregularities in Securities and Banking Transactions.
  • In 1993, he became the Chairman of Committee on Energy.
  • He was re-elected to the 11th Lok Sabha in 1996, and was also appointed as the Finance minister.
  • From 25 March 1998 to 4 Feb 1999, he remained the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.
  • He got re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in July 1998.
  • Singh served as the Minister for External Affairs from 5 December 1998 to 1 July 2002. An additional role of Union Electronics Minister was played by him from Feb to Oct 1999. He simultaneously handled the portfolio of a Union Surface Transport Minister for three months from Aug to Oct 1999.
  • On 15 Oct 1999, he was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha.

  • Between 18 Mar and 15 Oct 2001, he remained the Union Defence Minister.
  • On 1 July 2002, Singh was given one of his earlier portfolio of a Finance Minister. He served as the Finance Minister until May 2004.
  • Jaswant Singh was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2004, and he sat as the leader of opposition.
  • He served as the member of various Parliamentary committees from August 2004 to May 2009.
  • In 2009, he was re-elected to the 15th Lok Sabha. Soon after that, he was appointed as the Chairman of Committee on Public Accounts. In the same year, he became the member of Committee on Budget.
  • On 1 Jan 2010, Jaswant Singh became the Member of Committee on Public Accounts.
  • On 24 March 2014, he filed as an Independent candidate from the Barmer constituency of Rajasthan, after conflict with the BJP to be able to contest from his home-seat.
  • On 30 March 2014, the BJP expelled Singh from the party for six years, after his refusal to withdraw as an independent candidate in the 2014 General Elections.

Jaswant Singh Elections result

YearConstituency State Status
2014Barmer RajasthanLose
2009DarjeelingWest BengalWon

Activities and Achievements of Jaswant Singh

  • Jaswant Singh is the first politician to have served as a Finance minister (1996, 2002-2004), a Foreign minister (1998-2004), and as a Defence minister (2000-2001) as well. As a Finance Minister, Jaswant Singh had aggressively worked towards economic reforms. Apart from launching the first free-trade agreement with Sri Lanka (which is also the first in South Asian history), he was also the man behind reviving India-Pakistan ties. On the US front, much of the 'revitalized' relation is attributed to his diplomatic acumen and his negotiation skills.
  • Jaswant Singh is also a prolific writer who has written widely on international affairs, development, and security in leading journals, magazines, and newspapers. He has more than 12 books to his name, latest being the "India at Risk: Mistakes, Misconceptions and Misadventures of Security Policy". His books have also landed him in trouble quite often. In his book titled, "Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence", he held Jawaharlal Nehru's centralised polity responsible for the partition of India. The book was even banned in Gujarat.

  • He is a a visiting Professor at the Oxford University.
  • Singh is also an Honorary Professor at the Warwick University, and a Senior Fellow at the Harvard University.
  • Being a skilled horseman; Jaswant Singh played Polo, and till recently was the Patron-in-Chief of the Indian Polo Association.
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Awards Won by Jaswant Singh

Jaswant Singh was recognised as an Outstanding Parliamentarian in the year 2001.

Last Updated on June 23, 2020