Former PM VP Singh passes awayNovember 27th, 2008 - 6:18 pm ICT by ANI
New Delhi, Nov 27 (ANI): Former Prime Minister V P Singh died here today after a prolonged illness.
Battling blood cancer since 1991 and suffering from renal failure, 77-year-old Singh, breathed his last at the Apollo Hospital here.
The end came at 2.45 PM,” Apollo Hospital spokesperson said.
Singh leaves his wife Sita Kumari and two sons Ajeya Singh and Abhay Singh
Born on 25 June 1931, he held office of Prime Minister for slightly less than a year, from December 2, 1989 to November 10, 1990.
He was appointed as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1980 by Indira Gandhi. During his tenure he cracked down on dacoity that was particularly severe in the rural districts of the south-west.
He formed the first non-Congress coalition government at the Centre dethroning Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress in the 1989 elections.
Following Rajiv Gandhi’’s massive mandate in the 1984 General elections, he was appointed to the pivotal post of Finance Minister, where he oversaw the gradual relaxation of the license Raj as Rajiv had in mind.
During his term as Finance Minister, he oversaw the reduction of gold smuggling by reducing tax on gold and the excellent tactic of giving the police a portion of the smuggled gold that they found.
Together with associates Arun Nehru and Arif Mohammad Khan, Singh floated an opposition party named the Jan Morcha. He was re-elected to Lok Sabha in a tightly contested by-election from Allahabad, defeating Anil Shastri.
Singh decided to implement the recommendations of the Mandal Commission in 1989, which had suggested that a fixed quota for all jobs in the public sector be reserved for members of the historically disadvantaged so-called Other Backward Classes. He himself wished to move forward nationally on social justice-related issues, which would consolidate the caste coalition that supported the Janata Dal in North India.
This decision led to widespread protests among the youth in urban areas in North India.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which had supported his National Front Government, withdrew support.
He was followed by Chandrashekhar who formed a government with outside support of the Congress party. (ANI)
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