Hissar: The last of the three Lal`s of
Haryana - Bhajan Lal, who formed the trio with two other
former Chief Ministers Bansi and Devi Lal - died here at the
age of 81 following a massive heart attack.
Besides being a three times chief minister of Haryana,
Bhajan had also been a Union Minister at the Centre.
The three Bhajan, Bansi and Devi are credited with
taking the state on the path of development after the
bifurcation of Punjab in 1966. Between 1968 and 99, the three
held the Chief Minister`s post among themselves.
Born on October 6, 1930 Bhajan received formal
education at Bahwal Nagar (Pakistan). A farmer by profession,
he started his career from the lowest ladder in the political
hierarchy. He became Sarpanch, then Chairman of Panchayat
Samiti, Hissar for five years and later President of Congress
Mandal in the same region for four years.
The victory of the Congress in Haryana`s 2005 polls
caused a major rift in its state unit, as it opted to make a
Jat leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the Chief Minister, instead
of Bhajan whose son Chander Mohan was made Deputy Chief
Minister as part of a compromise formula.
After losing the race for chief ministership in 2007,
Bhajan`s son Kuldeep Bishnoi formed a new party, called
Haryana Janhit Congress-BL. Kuldeep was later suspended from
the Congress for his alleged anti-party activities.
The veteran politician knew how to swing things in his
favour. In 1982, despite being in a minority, the Congress
was invited to form the government by then Haryana governor
GD Tapase, forcing a fuming Devi Lal, who later became
India`s Deputy Prime Minister, to slap the governor.
Bhajan was elected to the Haryana Assembly for the
first time during the mid-term elections of 1968 from Adampur
Constituency. Except in 1987, when his wife Jasma Devi won
from Adampur after he moved to the Centre, he always won the
Out of the eight elections for Adampur from 1968 to
2005, Bhajan contested on a Congress ticket except in 1977
when he contested on a Janta Party nomination.
Bhajan was elected first time to the Haryana Assembly
during the mid-term elections of 1968 from Adampur in Hissar
district. He retained the seat in 1972. He was minister in
the Haryana Cabinet from 1970 to 1975.
In 1977, he was again elected to the Assembly from
the same seat and was made Minister for Cooperation, Dairy
Development, Animal Husbandry, Labour and Employment and
Forests during 1978-79.
Before taking over as Chief Minister of Haryana on
June 28, 1979, Bhajan Lal during his upward climb to the
highest chair in the state acquired not only organisational
and administrative experience, but also knowledge of men,
matters and problems faced by the people.
Having suffered many vicissitudes of fate as a
politician, statesman and development officer, he successfully
piloted and launched a number of development schemes for the
benefit of the people.
Bhajan was elected for the fourth time from the same
constituency in the 1982 General Elections and was again sworn
in as Chief Minister on May 23, 1982. He remained Chief
Minister till June 4, 1986.
Later, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha and served
in the Union Cabinet, holding the Agriculture and Environments
& Forest portfolios during Rajiv Gandhi`s government.
He has been a central point in Haryana politics,
representing the non-Jats of the state.
He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Faridabad seat in
Bhajan was elected to Haryana Assembly from Adampur in
June 16, 1991 for the fifth time.
The hold of Bhajan`s family over the Adampur assembly
seat remained with the veteran winning the bye-election in May
2008 by a margin of 26,188 votes over his nearest Congress
rival Ranjit Singh to retain the seat for a record 11th time.
He had won as a Congress nominee in 2005 by a margin
of 71,081 votes, but the margin decreased in 2008.
With the entry of Bhajan, HJC-BL opened its account
in the 90-member Haryana Assembly in 2005.