Saheb Singh Verma started career as a swayamsevak

via UNI published on June 30, 2007

New Delhi, June 30: From a modest and unassuming Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker, Saheb Singh Verma went on to become the Chief Minister of Delhi and then a Union Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Cabinet.

Born in a farmer’s family to Chaudhary Meer Singh of Mundka village west Delhi on March 15, 1943, Verma did his initial schooling from his native village and studied Economics and Library Science from the Delhi University. He later joined as a librarian in the Delhi University and served as the chief librarian of Bhagat Singh College.

Verma, whose uncle Choudhary Deep Chand was a soldier in the Azad Hind Fauz of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, was strongly influenced by the political ideology of Jana Sangh founder-President Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

He started his electoral career after the emergency in 1977 when he was elected to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi as a corporator and after nearly two decades held the Chief Ministership of Delhi in 1995.

He held several organisational posts in the Jana Sangh and the BJP in Delhi and was re-elected to the MCD in 1983.

Verma contested the Lok Ssbha election from Outer Delhi in 1991 but could not make it.

However, he made his debut in the Lok Sabha with a record margin of over two lakh votes emerging as a powerful Jat leader in Outer Delhi.

After Delhi got assembly status in 1993, he was elected as a legislator from the Shalimar Bagh assembly constituency and was rewarded for his contribution to the party by carving out a vote-bank — comprising backward classes and rural areas –for the BJP by sheer hard work and clean political image which later bore fruits

On February 26, 1996 he took over as the Chief Minister of Delhi from his mentor, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, in whose government he held the post of Development minister.

Among his major contributions was the creation of nine administrative districts and 27 zones. Besides, he had set up a Public Grievances Redressal Commission and appointed the Lokayukta.

He was instrumental in carrying out several rural development schemes and was the guiding factor in the enactment of Delhi Agriculture Cattle Preservation Act and Delhi Tree Preservation Act.

Verma also launched a website to let people know of his works as a Chief Minister and get feedback.

In one of the chat sessions on a portal, Verma had stated that he loved to be techno-friendly and that is why he started the site to get access to lakhs of people the world over.

After resigning as Chief Minister in 1998, he entered Parliament from Outer Delhi in 1999 general elections and was later appointed party General Secretary in 2000 to concentrate on the party’s organisational set-up.

He was appointed Party’s Vice-President and also took charge of BJP’s Rajasthan affairs.

Verma was more a common man who lived in a small house with very few facilities and used cycles, scooters, buses and also went on foot to many places. As he had said in one of his interviews: ”I love to behave in this manner”

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