Shivraj Vishwanath Patil

Shivraj Patil

Shivraj Vishwanath Patil (born October 12, 1935) is the current Union Minister of Home Affairs in the Manmohan Singh government and member of the Rajya Sabha. Previously he had been the Speaker of the 11th Lok Sabha and served Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi cabinets as the defence minister during the 80's.

Early life

Patil was born in 1935 in the village of Chakur in the Latur district (Marathwada region) of Maharashtra. He attended Osmania University, Hyderabad, earning a graduation degree in Science and studied Law at the Bombay University. During 1967-69, he was involved in local government (Latur Municipality).

Patil belongs to the Lingayat community spread across Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. He married late Smt. Vijaya Patil in June 1963.

In State Politics

Between 1972-79, he was member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for two terms during which time he held various positions such as Chairman of Public Undtertakings Committee, Deputy Minister (Las & Judiciary, Irrigation, Protocol), Deputy Speaker of the Assembly and Speaker of the Assembly.

In Central Politics

In 1980, he got elected to the 7th Lok Sabha. By 1999 (13th Lok Sabha), he had won seven successive Lok Sabha elections.

In government

First inducted in the Indira Gandhi-led government in as Minister of State for Defence (1980-82), he was given independent charge of the Commerce Ministry (1982-83), from where he was shifted to Science and Technology, Atomic Energy, Electronics, Space and Ocean Development (1983-84).

During 1983-86, he was Vice President of CSIR India. He also served on various committees including those on Defence, External Affairs, Finance, Salaries and Allowances of Members of Parliament.

In the Rajiv Gandhi government, he was Minister for Personnel, Defence production and later held independent charge of Civil Aviation and Tourism.

He has also held a number of important positions in the party ever since Sonia Gandhi took over the presidency of the party. He is largely known for introducing the The Outstanding Parliamentarian Award, India in 1995. He was the chairman of the manifesto committee of the party during the 1999 Lok Sabha election.

As speaker of the Lok Sabha, he had began or contributed in initiatives on information dissemination to members of the Parliament (through computerisation and modernisation), construction of Parliament Library Building and broadcast of Loksabha proceedings, including live broadcast of Question Hour of both houses of the parliament.

Between 1991-1995, he was a member / leader of Indian parliamentary delegations to various international parliamentary conferences.

After Indian General Election 2004

He became Home Minister in 2004. A former Lok Sabha speaker, Shivraj Patil lost in the 2004 polls from Latur constituency in Maharashtra, but has still landed up the second most important position in the Union Cabinet -- that of the Home Minister. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in July 2004.

Patil's name was considered a likely candidate in 2007 presidential election. However, after the Left parties opposed his candidature, Sonia Gandhi proposed Pratibha Patil, Governor of Rajasthan, as the presidential candidate. Shivraj Patil was later considered a possible candidate for the post of Vice President of India. His extensive parliamentary experience and his reputation for fairness were said to be the main advantages on his side.

References

  • Congress Sandesh, 2004

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