Rajasthan, being the largest state in India, plays a significant role in national politics. The politics of India requires influx of visionary, dynamic and reformatory leaders in the political bastion of old parties to bring a positive change in society. Despite hundreds of new faces entering mainstream state politics every term, only a few of them have made a mark on the national front.
Here’s to the top 5 political leaders of Rajasthan, who’ve earned a solid reputation for themselves in active politics. They are/were hard workers, they are/were futurist and most of all, they are/were popular among the masses.
Top 5 Politicians in Rajasthan
- Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
Late Shekhawat doesn’t need an introduction. Just Google ‘top politicians of Rajasthan’ and you can see his name appearing on the first place. Fondly referred to as Babosa (head of the family), Shekhawat was the oldest anti-Congress leader in the late 1990s.
Shekhawat was the most popular member of NJP and a leading member of the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) at the Centre. He was elected the Chief Minister of Rajasthan 3 times in his life (1977-1980, 1990-1992 and 1993-1998). He also served as the 11th Vice President of India since August 2002 to July 2007. He also contested for the presidential election in 2007, but lost the position to Pratibha Patil.
He died in 2010, at the age of 86. Even today, he’s remembered as ‘Hindustan ka ek hi Singh’ (India’s lion).
- Jaswant Singh Jasol
Veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh was a seasoned Indian politician who managed several portfolios in the national cabinet under PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 1998 to 2004. During this time, he also served as the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of India (Yojana Aayog).
He managed Defence, External Affairs and Finance during the NDA regime. After the ruling BJP lost to UPA in 2004. Singh took over the charge of Opposition Leader from 2004 to 2009 in Rajya Sabha. He was quite renowned for efficient foreign policies and rigid political views.
Singh was expelled from the party during 2014 Lok Sabha elections when he refused to withdraw his nomination as an independent candidate against BJP party candidate in the Barmer-Jaisalmer constituency. Singh unfortunately slipped in his home and suffered from a head injury in 2014. He is in a state of coma ever since.
- Vasundhara Raje Scindia
Vasundhara Raje entered state politics as a young and vibrant politician in 1985 when she was elected to the Rajasthan legislative assembly. She is Rajasthan’s first woman leader and coincidently, the first female Chief Minister to control the reign of a patriarchal state like Rajasthan between 2003 to 2008. She was re-elected in the same position in 2013 and is the current ruling CM of Rajasthan.
Raje, who belongs to the royal Scindia family of Gwalior was introduced to active politics by her mother Vijaraje Scindia. She lays great stress on women empowerment, skill development, mechanized agriculture and education. Her visionary schemes like Jal Swavlamban (rainwater harvesting), Bhamashah (direct delivery of benefits via cashless means), GRAM (agricultural revolution) and Annapurna (rural malls and mobile food fans) have earned her a title of ‘Rani of Reforms’.
- Sachin Pilot
Mohanlal Sukhadia, who is revered us the ‘Founder of Modern Rajasthan’ brought upon major reforms and developments that changed the face of the desert state. Sukhadia, who had earned a degree in electrical engineering from Bombay successfully led the first revolt against the British. Though failed, the movement exemplified his impressive managerial and leadership skills.
He was a seasoned politician from Congress. He was appointed as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan at the age of 38 years. He served in the office for 17 years (1954-1971). The state made significant development in his reign. In his later years, he also served as the Governor for Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
- Ram Niwas Mirdha
Late Ram Niwas belongs to the powerful Mirdha family of Rajasthan. The veteran Indian politician served as a member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from 1953 to 1967. He was the Cabinet Minister who held several portfolios for the Government of India during 1970-1980.
Having powerful oration skills, he was elected as a speaker of state assembly from 1957 to 1967. In his political career that spanned over 45 years, Mirdha hold some powerful positions, including the member of Lok Sabha (1991-1996) and the member of UNESCO executive board (1993-1997). He worked as the chairman of Sangeet Natak Academy until his death in 2010.