Rajnath Singh to be the new Defence Minister of India


NEW DELHI: Rajnath Singh will be the new Defence Minister of India serving under the new Narendra Modi-led government. He is a BJP Lok Sabha MP from Lucknow.

Shripad Naik will be MoS (Defence).

A BJP Member of Parliament from North Goa, Naik (66), who was part of the first Modi government, was reinducted in the Council of Ministers for a second innings, retaining representation from the tiny tourist state, which has two Lok Sabha seats.

Rajnath Singh

As Home Minister, Singh played an effective role as number 2 to PM Narendra Modi. He led the effort on Jammu & Kashmir, first managing a difficult alliance and then changing course after the alliance broke. During his stint, Singh was able to contain Maoist violence and squeeze their operational areas. He also took certain administrative decisions which allowed paramilitary forces to enjoy greater autonomy in financial matters and liberalised visa regimes. Apart from that he was also tasked by Modi to help him firefight political problems, including those related to farmers.


1. Education minister of UP (1991-1992)

2. Union cabinet minister for surface transport (1999-2000) agriculture minister (2003-04)

3. Chief minister of UP (2000-2002)

4. BJP president (2005-09, 2013-14)

5. Union home minister (2014-19)

A former professor of physics, it was Singh, as BJP President in 2013, who was instrumental in declaring Narendra Modi as a prime ministerial candidate.

Singh was the third leader of the BJP, after Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, who had extensively campaigned for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

He was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh between 2000-2002, had also held the portfolios of Surface Transport and Agriculture in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

A life-long RSS member, Singh occupied various positions in RSS, ABVP and Uttar Pradesh BJP before becoming the national President of the BJP twice — 2005 to 2009 and 2013 to 2014.

Singh, who was elected to Lok Sabha from Lucknow for two consecutive terms in 2014 and 2019, was thrice elected to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly and twice to Rajya Sabha. He was elected to Lok Sabha for the first time in 2009 from Ghaziabad.

Singh was appointed district president of the Jana Sangh in 1975 at the age of 24 and was elected as MLA from Mirzapur in 1977.

In 1984, he became the UP state president of the BJP’s youth wing BJYM, in 1986, its national general secretary and subsequently national president of the BJYM in 1988.

Singh was elected a member of the UP Legislative Council in 1988 and became Education Minister of the state in 1991. During his tenure as Education Minister in UP, he established some landmarks by introducing the Anti-Copying Act and Vedic Mathematics in the syllabus and correction of various portions of history textbooks.

He became a member of Rajya Sabha in 1994 and also the Chief Whip of the BJP in the upper house.

In 1997, Singh became state president of UP BJP. During this period, apart from expanding and strengthening the organisation, he played a key role in saving the BJP-led government twice during political crisis.

Singh was appointed Union Surface Transport Minister in 1999 and during this period he got the opportunity to initiate the National Highway Development Programme, a dream project of the then Prime Minister Vajpayee.

In October 2000, he became Chief Minister of UP and was twice elected as MLA from Haidargarh constituency in Barabanki. In 2002, he became National General Secretary of BJP.

On May 24, 2003, he became Union Minister of Agriculture and subsequently for Food Processing. During this period he initiated a few epoch making projects like Kisan Call Centre and Farm Income Insurance Scheme.

(With PTI inputs)

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