August 26 marks the birth anniversary of former Haryana Chief Minister Bansi Lal Legha. Born in a Hindu Jat family in the village of Golagarh in Bhiwani district, Bansi Lal is often considered by many to be the architect of modern Haryana.
It would be no wrong to say that he was an able administrator and visionary, who was devoted to the welfare of masses.
An Indian independence activist, Bansi Lal became the Chief Minister of Haryana four times in 1968, 1972, 1986 and 1996. He was the third chief minister of Haryana after Bhagwat Dayal Sharma and Rao Birender Singh. He became Haryana chief minister for the first time on 31 May 1968 and remained in office till 13 March 1972.
Before chairing as Chief Minister, Lal was secretary of Parja mandal in the Loharu State, from 1943 to 1944. In late 1950s, Lal was president of the Bar Association, Bhiwani. Later, he went on to become the president of the District Congress Committee, Hisar, and became a member of the Congress Working Committee and Congress Parliamentary Board.
He served as the Defence Minister from December 1975 to March 1977, and had a brief stint as a Minister without Portfolio in the Union government in 1975. He also held the Railways and Transport portfolios.
After he parted company with Congress in 1996, Bansi Lal set up the Haryana Vikas Party and his campaign against prohibition propelled him to power in the assembly polls the same year.