Sharad Yadav (1947-2022) was a former parliamentarian, who held several ministerial appointments. He was the co-founder of the political parties Janata Dal (United) and the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD). He died at the age of 75 due to a cardiac arrest on 12 January 2023.
Sharad Yadav was born as Sharad Ahir on Tuesday, 1 July 1947 (age 75 years; at the time of death) in Akhmau village, Hoshangabad district, Central Provinces and Berar, British India (now Narmadapuram district, Madhya Pradesh, India). His zodiac sign is Cancer. In 1961, after completing his schooling at Municipal Higher Secondary School in Itarsi, Madhya Pradesh, he enrolled at the Robertson College in Jabalpur (later renamed as Government Science College), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in science in 1964. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Government College of Engineering in Jabalpur in 1970 with a gold medal. Chief Electoral Officer, Bihar
Sharad Yadav began his career as a politician while pursuing his graduation in Jabalpur. There, he contested and won the Students Union elections and was appointed its President. Sharad was greatly influenced by the revolutionary ideologies of Ram Manohar Lohia as a result of which he later joined Jai Prakash Narayan’s J. P. Movement in Bihar. He also participated in several campaigns against the Indira Gandhi-led Indian National Congress (INC). Sharad was jailed many times for his participation in anti-INC campaigns under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA).
Sharad Yadav was born into a farmer’s family belonging to the OBC caste.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Nand Kishore Yadav, was a farmer. His mother, Sumitra Devi, was a homemaker.
He had two elder brothers. His elder brother Ravishankar Yadav was an RJD politician who died in 2017. His elder brother SPS Yadav is a retired education officer.
Wife & Children
His wife, Dr Rekha Yadav, is an educationist and a social and political activist. They got married on 15 February 1989.
His son, Shantanu Bundela, is a politician and holds a post-graduate degree from the University of London. His daughter, Subhashini Raja Rao, is a politician.
Sharad Yadav resided at H No. 48, Ward No. 19, Near Karpoori Chowk, NH 107 Madhepura, Pin Code – 852113 (Bihar).
In 1974, he joined the Bharatiya Lok Dal (BLD) and contested the bye-elections from Jabalpur after the death of Congress MP Seth Govind Das. The INC fielded Seth Govind Das’ son Ravimohan Das against Sharad. Despite being jailed, Sharad emerged victorious in the bye-polls. After Indira Gandhi extended the service years of an MP from five years to six years, Sharad resigned in protest. In 1977, Sharad contested the Lok Sabha elections from Jabalpur and won on BLD’s ticket.
In 1977, the BLD merged with other parties like Janata Morcha, the Indian National Congress (O), and the Socialist Party of India to form Janata Party. He was appointed as the president of the Yuva Janata Dal (YJD) in 1978. The YJD was the youth wing of the Janata Dal. Sharad joined the Janata Party (Secular) after its separation from the Janata Party in 1979. Sharad was appointed as Lokdal’s general secretary in 1980. He contested and lost the 1980 general elections from the Jabalpur constituency on a ticket from Janata Party (Secular). In July 1986, he became the president of the Yuva Lok Dal (YLD). He entered the parliament as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in July 1986. Janata Party (Secular) merged with the Janata Dal (JD) in 1988. He contested and won the 1989 Lok Sabha elections from the Budaun constituency in Uttar Pradesh on Janata Dal’s ticket. In the same year, Sharad assumed the position of general secretary of Janata Dal. He remained in the post till 1997. He assumed charge of the Ministry of Textiles and Food Processing Industries in 1989 and held the portfolio till 1990. Sharad won the 1991 Lok Sabha elections on Janata Dal’s ticket from Bihar’s Madhepura constituency. He served as a member of the parliament till 1996. Sharad played a vital role in implementing the Mandal Commission’s recommendations, which were aimed at providing reservations to the Other Backward Class (OBC) category. Sharad Yadav campaigned for Lalu Prasad Yadav for the 1991 Assembly elections in Bihar; however, Sharad distanced himself from Lalu after he was accused of laundering money in the 1997 fodder scam.
He served as the Janata Dal Parliamentary Board’s chairman from 1991 to 1996. From the Madhepura constituency in Bihar, Sharad contested and won the 1996 Lok Sabha elections on a ticket from the Janata Dal. He was later appointed as the chairman of the Committee on Finance. He remained an MP till 1997. In 1997, he was appointed as the president of Janata Dal. He held the post till 1999.
He contested the 1999 Lok Sabha elections against RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav from the Madhepura constituency on Janata Dal’s ticket and emerged victorious. He held the portfolio of the Civil Aviation Minister from October 1999 to August 2001. In September 2001, he became the Labour Minister, a post held by Sharad till June 2002.
From 1 July 2002 to 21 May 2004, Sharad held the portfolio as the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution.
In 2003, Sharad, along with Nitish Kumar and George Fernandes, left the Janata Dal and formed Janata Dal (United) due to rising indifference between them and the JD’s leadership. On a ticket from JD(U), Sharad Yadav contested the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from the Mahdepura constituency in Bihar and lost. In the same year, he entered the parliament as a member of the Rajya Sabha and served as an MP till 2009.
From August 2004 to September 2006, Sharad served on the Business Advisory Committee as a member. In August 2004, he was appointed as a member of the General Purposes Committee and served on the committee till October 2006. From August 2004 to May 2009, he served as a member of the Committee on Water Resources. He became a member of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs in October 2004 and served as its member till May 2009. Sharad served as a member of the Parliamentary Forum on Population and Public Health from May 2006 to May 2009. In June 2006, he was appointed as a member of the Committee on Ethics. He served on the committee till May 2009. In September 2007, Sharad assumed the position of president of the joint parliamentary group of India and Nepal. From October 2007 to May 2009, Sharad Yadav served on the Samsad (Court) of Visva Bharati as its member. Sharad was appointed as a member of the Committee on Installation of Portraits/Statues of National Leaders and Parliamentarians in Parliament House Complex in May 2008 and served till May 2009. In 2009, on JD(U)’s ticket, Sharad contested and won the Lok Sabha election from Bihar’s Madhepura constituency. On 31 August 2009, Sharad was appointed to the Committee on Urban Development as its chairman. He served till May 2014. He served as a member of the JPC to examine matters relating to the Allocation and pricing of Telecom Licences and Spectrum from March 2011 till October 2013. He was appointed as the President of the Parliamentary Forum on Millennium Development Goals in December 2013. Sharad Yadav resigned as the convener of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after JD(U) broke its alliance with the NDA in 2013. Sharad Yadav contested the 2014 general elections from the Madhepura constituency in Bihar from JD(U)’s ticket. He, however, lost the elections. He became a member of the parliament in 2014 after the JD(U) nominated him as its Rajya Sabha candidate from Bihar. He became a member of the General Purposes Committee in September 2014. He was appointed to the Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas as its member in September 2014 and served on the committee till August 2016. In October 2014, Sharad Yadav became a member of the Committee on Ethics. From October 2014 to July 2016, Sharad served as a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Maintenance of Heritage Character and Development of Parliament House Complex. He became the chairman of the Committee on Provision of Computers to Members of the Rajya Sabha in December 2014 and served till July 2016. From April 2015 to July 2016, Sharad served as a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Security in the Parliament House Complex. He served on the Joint Committee on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill as a member from May 2015 to July 2016. In 2016, Sharad Yadav was re-elected to Rajya Sabha as a JD(U) candidate from Bihar. In July 2016, Sharad Yadav was appointed the chairman of the Committee on Industry. In November 2016, he was appointed to the Joint Committee on Offices of Profit and the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas as its member. In April 2017, Sharad was appointed to the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha on the Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-third Amendment) Bill as a member. He served on the committee till July 2017.
In 2017, Sharad’s membership in the Rajya Sabha was revoked after the JD(U) wrote a letter to Venkaiah Naidu, urging him to disqualify Sharad on the grounds of defection. The JD(U) in its official statement said that Sharad attended a rally conducted by Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) despite their disapproval. JD(U) further said that the party had told Sharad that he will be considered a defected member if he attends the rally. According to sources, Sharad attended RJD’s rally as he was disappointed with Nitish Kumar’s decision to ally with the BJP in Bihar. JD(U) stated,
Our party had already sent him (Sharad Yadav) a letter asking him not to attend Lalu Prasad’s rally and if he did, it would be considered that he was voluntarily leaving the party. The rally was called by RJD, not by JDU. Sharad Yadav participated and delivered a speech in another party’s rally despite being asked not to do so by the party. It is disappointing that he has spoken nothing about RJD’s corruption, despite our party taking a clear stand against it.”
In 2018, Sharad floated Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), a registered unrecognized party, with Ali Anwar. Sharad contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Bihar’s Madhepura constituency on a ticket from RJD. He lost the elections. In March 2022, he merged LJD with RJD.
Fat shaming and giving negative remarks about women
Sharad Yadav often made headlines for making bizarre remarks about women. During a discussion on the government insurance bill in Rajya Sabha in 2015, Sharad commented about the skin tones of women from South India. He said that the people of India are attracted towards lighter skin tones and not beauty. He further added that despite having a darker shade, the women from South India are beautiful. In the discussion, he said,
Your god is dark like Ravi Shankar Prasad (present in the House), but your matrimonial ads insist on white-skinned brides. The women of the south are dark but they are as beautiful as their bodies… We don’t see it here. They know dance.”
Furthermore, he said that the producer of the documentary film India’s daughter (2015) Leslee Udwin managed to get permission from the government to interview one of the rapists of Nirbhaya because of her fair skin. The Times of India Talking about it, Sharad said,
She must have got permissions easily because of her white skin.”
While addressing a rally in 2017 in Patna, he compared the dignity of a daughter to the dignity of a vote. In his speech, he said that just like the entire “mohalla” loses its dignity when a daughter who lives there loses hers, the entire country loses its dignity when a vote is sold. The Indian Express In his speech, he said,
Wo thik hone mein ye jo ballot paper hai, yaad rakho iske baare mein sab jagah bade paimane pe batane or samjhane ki jarurat hai. Ye beti ki izzat se bhi vote ki izzat badhi hai. Beti ki izzat jaegi, toh gaon or mohalle ki izzat jaegi. Aur vote ek bar bik gaya, or ek baar gadbad hogaya toh ilake ki, desh ki aabaroo or aane wala sapna kabhi poora nahi hoga.”
In 2018, while conducting a rally for LJD during the state assembly elections in Rajasthan, Sharad made headlines after he passed a body-shaming comment on Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. In the rally, he called her fat and asked the crowd to give her a break as she was tired. ANI – YouTube He said,
Aur ye Vasundhra ko aaram do, bahut thak gayi hain. Bohot moti ho gayi hai.”
Later, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vasundhara Raje asked the election commission of India to take strict action against Sharad for his remarks. After receiving backlash, Sharad defended himself and said that what he said was just a joke and did not mean to hurt Vasundhara’s sentiments. He also said that he would write a letter to her formally apologizing for his fat-shaming remarks. Outlook While talking about it, in an interview, he said,
I said it as a joke. I’ve old relations with her. It wasn’t derogatory in any way. I had no intentions of hurting her. When I met her, I told her then also that you’re gaining weight. I have seen her statement. I have family relations with her. If my words have hurt her, I express regret. I will also write a letter to her expressing my regret.”
Assets & Properties
- Cash: Rs. 55,000
- Bank Deposits: Rs. 37,02,868
- Bonds, Debentures and Shares in companies: Rs. 5,96,000
- Jewellery: Rs. 3,95,500
- Agricultural Land: Rs. 1,06,60,000
- Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 1,01,70,000
Note: The given estimates of movable and immovable assets are according to the year 2019. It excludes the assets owned by his wife and dependents.
Sharad Yadav’s net worth for 2019 was estimated to be Rs. 4,84,04,368. MyNeta
Note: It excludes the net worth of his wife and dependents.
On 12 January 2022, On 12 January 2022, Sharad Yadav collapsed in his house due to cardiac arrest following which he was taken to Fortis Hospital in Gurugram, where the doctors declared him dead upon arrival. ThePrint The hospital, in its official statement, said
Sharad Yadav was brought to the emergency at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, in an unconscious and unresponsive state. On examination, he did not have any pulse or recordable blood pressure. He underwent CPR as per ACLS protocols. Despite best efforts, he could not be revived and was declared dead at 10.19 pm. We would like to convey our deepest condolences to his family.”
On 14 January 2023, Sharad Yadav was cremated in his hometown in Madhya Pradesh with full state honours.
- For playing a vital role in the implementation of the Mandal Commission’s recommendations, Sharad Yadav was called Mandal Masiha.
- SPS Yadav, elder brother of Sharad, said in an interview that Sharad decided to donate his share of family land that was divided equally among the siblings following the passing of their mother. Sharad Yadav gave his share of land to an NGO for constructing a school. Talking about it, he said,
Everyone of us got four acres of land in their share. Sharad decides to donate his entire land in the name of his mother. Gave the responsibility to a private organization to open a school in the name of Maa Sumitra, where children can get good education.”
- Sharad Yadav liked listening to classical music, reading about history, and performing cultural activities.
- Sharad Yadav took a keen interest in sports, especially Hockey, Kabaddi, Wrestling, and Badminton.
- In 2014, Sharad Yadav was awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for 2012.