Chaudhary Ajit Singh
Chaudhary Ajit Singh, represented baghpat constituency 6 times in the Lok Sabha and served as a member of Parliament in the 15th Lok Sabha. Born on 12 February, 1939, he is an alumnus of Lucknow University, I.I.T, Kharagpur and the Illinois Institute of Technology (U.S.A). He worked for 17 years in the computer software engineer in the emerging IT industry in U.S.A. Ch. Ajit Singh first entered parliament as a Member of the Rajya Sabha in 1986.
He led his own faction of Lok Dal (Ajit) in 1987. He was President of Janata Party in 1988 and was elected as Secretary-General in 1989 of the Janata Dal, and a Member of Parliament in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections.
In December 1989, Ch. Ajit Singh became the Union Cabinet Minister for Industry in the National Front Government of Late Shri VP Singh (from December, 1989 to November, 1990). He was re-elected in 1991 as Member of Parliament from Janata Dal. He was appointed Cabinet Minister of Food in February, 1995 in the Congress Government and held the post till May, 1996.
Ch. Ajit Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha again in 1996 and left the congress party to form his own Bharatiya Kisan Kamghar Party (BKKP). He resigned his membership as MP from Lok Sabha and contested the bye-election caused by his resignation as a BKKP candidate. In 1999, he contested Lok Sabha polls as a candidate of the Rashtriya Lokdal. In July 2001, he was sworn in as Cabinet Minister for Agriculture and served in the position till May 2003.
Ch. Ajit Singh is a prominent advocate for a ‘rural development focussed’ model of growth. He has pushed for increased investment in the rural economy and introduction of measures to propagate sustainable technologies for improving agricultural productivity, and economic yields for farmers. Notably, in 1996, he reduced the circle distance between sugar mills from 25 km to 15 km, which resulted in greater investments and competition in the sugar industry and higher realizations for farmers. As Agriculture Minister, he also instituted the credit linked subsidy scheme for augmenting cold storage capacity, which enabled much needed flow of private investment into the industry.
As Agriculture Minister Ch Ajit Singh was prompt in providing relief to the farmers facing the crisis of the 2002 drought. He extended assistance from the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) which was till then restricted to farmers holding two hectares of land or less, to all farmers (this was critical for the farming community particularly in areas where the average landholding was high but productivity was low). He has spearheaded the public movement against the antiquated and inequitable land acquisition laws in the country, and also the successful agitation by the sugarcane farmers in Delhi against the FRP Amendment (2009) to the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. He is a votary of the movement for reorganising of some of India’s large and administratively unwieldy states including Andhra Pradesh, Maharasthra and Uttar Pradesh.
Ch. Ajit Singh is served as Chairman of the Kisan Trust founded by former Prime Minister, late Chaudhary Charan Singh in 1978.
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