Mr Singh played a stellar role in Narendra Modi's elevation as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, over-ruling reservations from party veterans such as L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushma Swaraj. In an interview to NDTV, Mr Singh claimed that he had on his own appointed Amit Shah, a close aide of Mr Modi, as the general secretary incharge of Uttar Pradesh. The move, in hindsight, proved to be a masterstroke, as the party stunned everyone by bagging 71 of the 80 seats in the politically-crucial state.
Mr Singh, 62, first shot into limelight in 1991, when, as the education minister in the Kalyan Singh government in Uttar Pradesh, he ordered a crackdown on school and college students who were caught copying. He became the UP chief minister in 2000-02, and held the post for two years before shifting to the Centre. In the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, he held the portfolios of surface transport and agriculture, and claims credit for the introduction of "kisan credit cards."
After taking over as the BJP president for the second time in 2013, Mr Singh mended fences with his three estranged colleagues. The move paid rich dividends. It is now the Modi-Singh-Jaitley troika which is calling the shots in the party.
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