Former Prime Minister Vishwanath Prasad Singh, whose ascend to power changed the socio-political situation of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, died in Apollo Hospital in New Delhi on Wednesday. He was 77 and was survived by wife, Sita Singh and two sons Ajey and Abhay Singh.
The Raja of Manda took over as the chief of Uttar Pradesh in 1980 only to move to defence and finance ministry in the Rajiv Gandhi Cabinet. He quit his cabinet over the Bofors issue and along with other opposition parties went to form the Janata Dal. In the election held in November 1989 his party managed to emerge as the largest single party in the Lok Sabha.
The BJP, with 89 seats, decided to back him. However, after the arrest of the then party president Lal Krishna Advani, on Ocobter 21, 1990 the BJP withdrew and the V P Singh government subsequently collaspsed. In between another development took place. The then deputy Prime Minister, Devi Lal, raised the banner of revolt and in August 1990 V P in a haste implemented the Mandal Commission report, which recommends 27 per cent reservation for the backward castes in the job.
The railway minister, Lalu Yadav, the present chief minister, Nitish Kumar and the Union fertilizer minister, Ram Vilas Paswan were the great beneficiaries of the Mandal commission implementation.