Raja Nareshchandra Singh

Raja Nareshchandra Singh (21 Nov 1908 — 11 Sep 1987), former ruler of Sarangarh princely state in Raigarh District Chhattisgarh and Indian National Congress politician was a former Chief Minister of undivided Madhya Pradesh.

Raja Nareshchandra Singh was the last ruler of the Princely State of Sarangarh in the modern state of Chhattisgarh in Central India. He ruled after the death of his father Raja Jawahir Singh in 1946 till the merger of his State into the union of India on 1 January 1948.

An alumnus of the Rajkumar College Raipur in the footsteps of his father, Naresh Chandra Singh worked as an Honorary Magistrate in Raipur district before being inducted as the Education Minister in the administration of Sarangarh State.

After Independence, he joined Indian national Congress Party and won the first General Election held in 1952 to the State assembly of Madhya Pradesh. He was made a cabinet minister in the cabinet of Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla and was given the portfolio of Electricity and Public Works Departments.

His tenure is remembered for the conceptualization and creation of a separate and full fledged directorate and department for the development and welfare of the tribals with focussed state policies on these matters. A bridge on the River Mahanadi at Arang near Raipur on the Great Eastern Road in 1954 linked Madhya Pradesh, and after the bifurcation of the State to Chhattisgarh, to Orissa for the first time through an all weather motorable road. It opened gates for trading between the regions, that has flourished since then. He is credited with the smooth bifurcation of assets and manpower of the electricity department between the States when the new Madhya Pradesh came into being on 1 November 1956. This bifurcation planted the seed of what later came to be known as Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board.

A tribal (Gond) himself, he was famous for his rapport with, and popularity amongst the vast tribal population of Madhya Pradesh. An avid reader, he was equally famous for the rich library he possessed in his palace in Sarangarh, Chhattisgarh.

He won the second, third and fourth general elections too and was a minister throughout in different Congress Ministries in Madhya Pradesh. in 1969 he became the Chief Minister for 13 days (13 March 1969 to 25 March 1969 ).

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