Morarji Desai Biography

Morarji Desai rose to become the Prime Minister of India from a very humble background and was the first non-Congress candidate to be the Prime Minister of India. He was born on February 29,1896 in a small village in Gujarat.

He joined the Civil Disobedience Movement and rose to become the leader of the Indian National Congress in Gujarat because of his excellent leadership skills. He also served as the Chief Minister of Bombay in 1952 and rose to be a Congress leader. His relations with Jawaharlal Nehru were not good since he was opposed to his ideas of socialism.

He became the Deputy Prime Minister during Indira Gandhi’s regime. In 1969 after the split with Indira Gandhi he formed Congress(O) while Gandhi formed Congress(I). After the emergency, in the elections of 1977 his party joined with long time rivals, regional parties and others to form the new Janata Party which won the elections. Desai became the Prime Minister.

It was the first coalition government but a one without much unity in it. This hampered Desai a lot, but he had many achievements to his credit. Some of his greatest achievements were that he restored normal relations between India and Pakistan. Another of his big contributions was that he restored peoples’ faith in democracy.

He did away with many constitutional amendments brought about during the Emergency and brought in many amendments, which prevented any future government from bringing in National Emergency. In 1979 when BLD broke away from his coalition, he resigned from office as well as from politics.

There is only one black spot in Morarji Desai’s political career and probably the one which stayed with him till his death. It was published by a journalist that he had relations with the CIA which he denied until his death on April10, 1995.