Chaudhary Ajit Singh (1939-2021) was an Indian politician who was considered the “first IITian in Indian politics.” He was often called “Chhote Chaudhary” and “Raajneeti ke Mausm Vaigyanik.” Apart from being a politician, he was a computer engineer as well. Before entering into active politics, he worked in the IT sector for almost 17 years. He ventured into active politics after joining Lok Dal, a political party founded by his father Ch. Charan Singh, as its general secretary. From 1989 to 2009, he served as a Member of the Lower House of the Parliament. He held cabinet ministries in various governments. He died on 6 May 2021 in a hospital in Gurugram due to COVID-19-related complications.
Chaudhary Ajit Singh was born on Sunday, 12 February 1939 (age 82 years; at the time of death) in Bhadola village of Meerut, United Provinces, British India (now Uttar Pradesh, India). His zodiac sign is Aquarius. After his schooling, he pursued a Bachelor of Science at Lucknow University. After that, he pursued a B.Tech degree at IIT Kharagpur and later went to Chicago to pursue an M.S. at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Height (approx.): 5′ 3″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Ajit Singh belonged to an affluent Jat family in western Uttar Pradesh. His clan was ‘Teotia’ and his family was politically active.
Parents and Siblings
His father, Chaudhary Charan Singh, was a prominent farmer leader who went on to become the 5th Prime Minister of India. Ajit’s mother, Gayatri Devi, was a Member of the Legislative Assembly from Iglas (1974), a constituency in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. After that, she became a Member of the Lower House of the Parliament from the Kairana constituency in 1980. Ajit was the only son among six children of his parents. The names of his sisters are Satyavati, Vedvati, Gyanvati, Saroj, and, Sharda.
Wife & Children
Ajit Singh got married to Radhika Bishnoi on 17 June 1967. With her, he had 3 children, two daughters, Nidhi, and Deepa, and a son, Jayant Chaudhary, a former MP from the Mathura constituency (2009-2014).
He followed Hinduism.
He resided at 244/2, Shivaji Road, Meerut, 220001, Uttar Pradesh. Later he moved to 16 Green Avenu Chruch Road Basant Kunj New Delhi 110070.
Ajit Singh completed a B.tech in Computer Science at IIT Kharagpur. Later on, he went abroad for further study. He did his masters in computer engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. After studying, he joined IBM as a computer scientist and became one of the first Indians to work there in the 1960s. He worked there for almost 17 years.
Ajit Singh came back to India when his father’s health was deteriorating. Lok Dal, a party founded by Ch. Charan Singh was at the edge of faction in the early 1980s. Ajit Singh returned from the USA at that time to maintain the legacy of the family in farmer politics. He put his feet in politics in 1986 when he joined Lok Dal as General Secretary. In the same year, he became a member of the Upper House of Parliament. After a prolonged illness, his father died in 1987, but before his death, he made Ajit Singh President of the party and Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna was the acting president. This arrangement couldn’t satisfy the party members, and it started dwindling, and in 1987, Lok Dal got divided into two factions, Lok Dal (A) led by Ajit Singh, and Lok Dal (B) led by Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna.
In 1988, Ajit decided to merge Lok Dal with Janata Dal and became President of the newly created Janata Party. This merger upset many party members following which Ajit faced backlash during the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election in 1989. Janata Party won that election. VP Singh proposed to make Ajit Singh CM and Mulayam Singh Yadav deputy CM, but Mulayam rejected this and proposed voting to decide the leader of the winning party. In the voting, Mulayam Singh got 115 votes, whereas Ajit got 110 votes. This margin of 5 votes hindered Ajit from becoming the CM of Uttar Pradesh. Later, he became a member of the lower house of the parliament, and VP Singh placed him in his cabinet as Minister of Industry; he served the ministry from 1989 to 1990.
Ajit Singh is known for taking key initiatives for helping sugarcane farmers in western Uttar Pradesh, and he once proposed to reduce the circle distance between sugar mills from 25 km to 15 km. From 1989 to 2009, he won 6 times in general elections from the Baghpat constituency and served as Minister of Industry, Minister of Food, Minister of Agriculture, and Minister of Civil Aviation.
During his political career, Ajit Singh played a crucial role in forming coalition governments in alliance with different parties. He once talked about the coalition government and said,
“पहले गठबंधन नीतियों के आधार पर बनते थे, अब जाति के आधार पर बनते है। हम इन जाति, धर्म, भाषा की विविधताओं को कम करने की कोशिश नहीं कर रहे है बल्कि और बढ़ा कर अपना फायदा कर रहे है। ऐसे लोकतंत्र कामयाब नहीं हो पाता है।” Zee News – YouTube
He lost only twice in general elections, first in 1998, and second in 2014, both times from a BJP candidate. After losing in 1998, he launched his new party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, in 1999. This decision bore fruit, and he won from Baghpat seat again and joined Atal Bihari Vajpayee‘s coalition government and served as the cabinet minister of agriculture. He introduced credit linked subsidy scheme to multiply cold storage capacity, which boosted the flow of investment.
Verbal Attack on PM Modi
In his last years of active politics, he hit the headlines for making verbal attacks on Narendra Modi. In 2019, he launched verbal attacks on Narendra Modi and said,
“Ye jhoot nahi bolta… bas isne aaj tak sach nahi bola… Bacchon ko kehte hain sach bola kar, lekin iske ma baap ne nahi sikhaya… Mahilaon ka pakshdhar hai, teen talaq teen talaq… apni patni ko ek baar bhi talaq nahi bola aur chhod diya“
“Ye bhaiya itna hoshiyar aur shatir aadmi hai, agar ye Sri Lanka chala jaata na, laut ke kehta Ravan ko maine hi maara. Kyonki desh mein aur kisi ne toh kuch kiya hi nahi“
#WATCH RLD Chief Ajit Singh on PM Modi: Ye jhoot nahi bolta..bas isne aaj tak sach nahi bola.Bacchon ko kehte hain sach bola kar,lekin iske Ma baap ne nahi sikhaya.Mahilaon ka pakshdhar hai,teen talaq teen talaq..apni patni ko ek baar bhi talaq nahi bola aur chhod diya (3.4.19) pic.twitter.com/K6kDMcKcmN
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) April 4, 2019
Assets & Properties
- Cash: Rs 47,349
- Deposits in Banks, Financial Institutions, and Non-Banking financial companies: Rs 12,00,399
- Bonds, Debentures and Shares in companies: Rs 97,25,573
- Personal Loans/Advance given: Rs 42,15,615
- Agricultural land: Rs 9,06,97,666
- Residential Buildings: Rs 6,02,39,000
COVID-19 claimed many people’s lives all around the world, and Ajit Singh was one among them. He got admitted to the hospital on 20 Apr 2021 due to post covid complications, and on 6 May 2021, he died on 6 May 2021.
चौधरी साहब नहीं रहे!
— Jayant Singh (@jayantrld) May 6, 2021
- While serving as the Minister of Industries, Ajit Singh drafted a bill with Amar Nath Verma (Secretary of the Ministry of Industry). This bill was drafted to curb the License Raj, but other parties of the coalition didn’t support it, and it went into the bin. Later, the same bill was passed by Narasimha Rao in 1991 to introduce Liberalization in the Indian economy.
- He was interested in everything connected to agriculture and technology.
- Ajit’s favourite pastime was reading and listening to music.
- Ajit Singh often enjoyed smoking hookah.