Chaudhary Devi Lal was an Indian politician who served as the sixth Deputy Prime Minister of India from 1989 to 1990 and 1990 to 1991. He was a prominent face in Haryana politics. Devi Lal (full name: Devi Lal Dayal) emerged as a farmer leader from the state of Haryana and served as the Chief Minister of Haryana from 1977 to 1979 and again from 1987 to 1989. He was the founder of the Indian National Lok Dal. He was popularly known as ‘Tau’.
Chaudhary Devi Lal was born on September 25, 1914 in Teja Kheda village of Sirsa district of present-day Haryana. His mother’s name was Shugna Devi and father’s name was Lekhram Sihag.
Devi Lal’s son Om Prakash Chautala has also been the Chief Minister of Haryana four times. Actually, Chaudhary Devi Lal’s ancestral roots are in Bikaner, Rajasthan, from where his great grandfather Tejaram had migrated. His father Lekhram shifted to Chautala village in 1919 when Lal was five years old.
Politics in independent India since independence movement
In 1928, at the age of 16, Lal participated in Lala Lajpat Rai’s demonstration. He was a student of “Dev Samaj Public High School Moga” in Moga during the 10th class, at the same time he was arrested in the Congress office in 1930, he left studies and joined the freedom movement. He also took wrestling lessons in an akhada in Badal village of Punjab. He was elected MLA for the first time in 1952.
Lal comes from an illustrious political dynasty of Haryana. His elder brother Sahib Ram Sihag was the first politician from the family to become a Congress MLA from Hisar in 1938 and 1947. Lal had four sons, Pratap Singh, Om Prakash Chautala, Ranjit Singh and Jagdish Chander. All became involved in politics except Jagdish, who died at an early age. His eldest son, Pratap Singh, was an MLA from the Indian National Lok Dal in the 1960s.
Left the post of Prime Minister in front of promise
It is said that after the election process, something happened between VP Singh and him that he had promised VP Singh that he would be made the Prime Minister. However, after the elections the results came and Devi Lal was also elected the leader of the parliamentary party, but with great drama he said in the meeting that VP Singh would become the Prime Minister in his place. After this, Devi Lal was made the Deputy Prime Minister.
Chaudhary Devi Lal died on 6 April 2001 at the age of 86. His last rites were performed at Kisan Ghat, where the mausoleum of Chaudhary Charan Singh, another former Prime Minister of India, is located on the banks of the Yamuna River.
Life journey of Chaudhary Devi Lal
1914: Born in Tej Kheda village of Sirsa, Haryana
1930: Joined the Indian independence movement and was imprisoned for a year.
1932: Sent to jail for the second time for participating in the freedom struggle.
1938: Elected to All India Congress Committee
1942: Imprisoned in Multan jail for 2 years on 5 October
1943: Released from jail in October
1944: Refused to join the Unionist Party
1952: Elected member of Punjab Assembly
1956: Became Congress President of Punjab
1958: Appointed to the Legislative Assembly from Sirsa
1971: Left the Congress party
1975: Sent to jail for 19 months during Emergency
1977: Elected Chief Minister of Haryana on Janata Dal ticket
1980: Served as Member of Parliament till 1982
1982: Served as member of the state assembly till 1987
1987: Became Chief Minister of Haryana for the second time
1989: Appointed Deputy Prime Minister of India on 19 October
1998: Selected to Rajya Sabha
2001: Died on 6 April at the age of 86