Darbara Singh

Darbara Singh

Darbara Singh

Date of Birth : 1916
Date of Death : 1990

Mini Biography :

Sardar Darbara Singh (1916-1990), born into the prosperous farming family of Sardar Dalip Singh in Jandiala, in the Jullundur district of Punjab. He was educated at Khalsa College, Amritsar and became involved with the freedom movement under the aegis of Indian National Congress, being imprisoned by the British authorities between 1942 to 1945 and again in 1946. In the aftermath of the partition of the country, he was involved in the creation of refugee camps for the displaced people. He started his political career as President of the Jullundur Congress Party (1946-1950) and went on to serve as General Secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC, 1953-56) and subsequently served as its president from 1957-1964. He served in the Punjab Legislative Assembly from 1952-69, holding many portfolios including the Agriculture, Development and Home ministries.

At the national level he was appointed to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in 1954 and served in the apex congress decision making body the Congress Working Committee from 1962, he held both appointments till his death in 1990. He was elected to the lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha in 1971 from the Hoshiarpur constituency in Punjab. Even though he was never appointed as a Union Minister, he retained deep influence in the party being elected Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha in 1971. In 1975 he served as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, one of the most influential parliamentary committees as it overseas all Public Sector companies, across ministerial lines.

In the state elections of 1980, he was elected to Punjab Legislative Assembly from Nakodar, and was appointed as Chief Minister on February 17, 1980. The 1980’s were a turbulent time in the history of Punjab marked by an increase in violence and demand for a separate Sikh homeland, despite significant developmental achievements the tenure of the ministry was cut short by an increase in terrorist violence and the Darbara Singh ministry resigned and Presidents rule was imposed on June 6, 1983.

Sardar Darbara Singh was then elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1984, and served with distinction in Council of States being elected the Chairman of the House Committee in 1986. He was a respected observer on Punjab in the house, and died after a short illness on 10th March 1990. He was survived by his wife, Sardarni Gurbachan Kaur and four children.

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