Former Union minister Jaswant Singh passed away on Sunday at the age of 82. He was born on January 3, 1938 in village Jasol in Barmer district of Rajasthan.
With a BA and BSc, Singh was educated at Mayo College at Ajmer and later joined the Indian Army as a cavalry officer, living up to his childhood ambition. Singh gave up his commission and joined politics sometime in early 1970s.
His political career saw Singh winning as Member of Parliament for nine times, yet losing a crucial election when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 1998-99.
He lost the Lok Sabha elections from Rajasthan that year but it was his proximity to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that saw him getting elected to the Rajya Sabha in mid-1998 and then being made the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.
Over the years, Singh held several high-profile portfolios like external affairs, defence surface transport. He often acted as Vajpayee’s globetrotting trouble-shooter. Within the BJP, he was considered a gentleman politician but also known for his heated debates in Parliament.
Author of six books, Singh’s interests included international affairs, defence, environment, ecology and wildlife. During his leisure time, this lover of horses liked equestrian sports, read books and listened to music. He also indulged in golf and chess.