Profile: Rajnath Singh returns to familiar political terrain

Rajnath Singh

As Education Minister in UP, Singh had courted controversy by enacting the Anti-Copying Act which had opposition parties up in arms against him.

Although active in UP politics for long, Singh's entry into Parliament came only in 1994 when he was given a Rajya Sabha ticket and also appointed Chief Whip of the BJP in the Upper House.

He was again brought back as party president in UP in 1997 in the wake of turbulence in state politics in 1997 and held the position till 1999 when he was first inducted into Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government as Surface Transport Minister.

It was under Singh that Vajpayee's dream project, National Highway Development Programme was launched.

Singh's shuttle between UP and the Centre continued when on October 28, 2000, he was chosen to succeed veteran leader Ram Prakash Gupta as Chief Minister of UP. Singh remained at the helm till 2002 when the party faced a drubbing at the hands of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party in the state.

After BJP decided to support BSP chief Mayawati as chief minister of UP, a move Singh had opposed, he returned to national politics as BJP¿s national General Secretary. Soon, Singh, hailing from a farmer's family, again found his way back into the Vajpayee cabinet as Agriculture Minister after Ajit Singh parted ways with NDA in 2003.

Singh's journey up BJP hierarchy continued as he became its national President on December 31, 2005. His stint at the party helm saw BJP scoring some high points as it captured power in several states and also installed its first-ever government in Karnataka creating history by hoisting the saffron flag in the South as the ruling party.

An author with a book on "Unemployment, its Reasons and Remedies" to his credit, Singh is married with two sons and a daughter.

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