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Political Journey

Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial

Shastriji’s Political Career

Shastriji started his political career as Secretary, Allahabad Distt Congress Committee in 1929 and acted as General Secretary, UP Provincial Congress Committee (1935-37). In 1937 he was elected to UP Legislative Assembly and became Secretary, UP Parliamentary Board. In 1946, he became the Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister and in 1948 was appointed as the Minister of Home (Police and Transport).

Recognizing his sincerity, integrity and talent; he was called to Delhi and was entrusted with the responsibility of General Secretary, Congress Party and organized the party campaign for first general elections (1952). Since he did not fight election, Pt. Nehru nominated him to Rajya Sabha and on 13th May 1952 gave him the twin charge of the Railways and Transport. During his tenure, production capacity of Chitranjan Rail Engine Workshop was increased from 120 to 200 and in Perumboor Integral Coach Factory installed first machine in January 1956. He introduced many changes for the comfort and safety of train passengers. However, owing to moral responsibility of a train accident that took place near Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu same year, he resigned from his position.


An Able and Successful Administrator

On 17th April 1957, Pt. Nehru again inducted Shastrji in his cabinet as Minister of Transport and Communication. After resignation of TT Krishnamachari, the Finance Minister; on 28th March 1958, he was given the charge of Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Under his stewardship, Heavy Industry Corporation was set up; and many sick and dormant units like Nangal Fertilizer Factory, Hindustan Machine Tools, and Heavy Electrical Ltd. went into production.

After the death of Pt. GB Pant, on 05th April 1961, Shastriji, became Home Minister and on various occasions proved his mettle as a seasoned politician by resolving the major problems including Punjabi Suba Issue, Official Language Controversy, Chinese Aggression, and bringing Nepal back into the leap of India’s friendship.

Shastriji and Kamraj Plan

After Chinese aggression in 1962, under Kamraj Plan, all Chief Ministers and senior Ministers at the centre tendered their resignations. Shastriji’s resignation was accepted only at his insistence. In view of his indifferent health to assist him in discharge of his duties, Pt. Nehru on 24th January 1964 appointed him as a Minister without Portfolio. Shastriji very cleverly handled the problem of disappearance of holy relic from Hazratbal Mosque, Srinagar; and on 08th April 1964 released Sheikh Abdullah from Kud, a place in the valley, where he was detained. Shastriji handled the delicate situation in the valley very successfully and won appreciation from every quarter.