Shivraj Singh Chouhan was born on March 5, 1959, into a middle-class farmer's family of Shri Prem Singh Chouhan and Smt. Sundar Bai Chouhan at village Jait in Sehore district of central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Jait is a small village situated on the banks of river Narmada. His mother taught him ‘never to forget his roots', and it's this quality of being connected with the roots and not forgetting the journey he undertook to reach where he is today, makes him a real 'Jan Nayak'.   

In his childhood days, young Shivraj used to spend a lot of time swimming and playing in the serene waters of river Narmada and created a special bond with it. His emotional attachment with the Narmada comes to the fore as he makes concentrated efforts to preserve the river and her ecosystem.

A true patriot and torchbearer of Indian values, Shivraj Singh has demonstrated his compassion and leadership qualities from the very beginning. He fought for the rights of agricultural labourers of his village when he was just nine years old! He led a demonstration of daily wage workers and didn't rest until he managed to double their wages.  

He joined Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in the early 70s. In the year 1975, at the age of 16, he was elected as the President of Model Higher Secondary School Students' Union.  His excellent oratory skills and sound awareness of state and national level socio-economic and political issues made him a popular student leader. His involvement in student politics never interfered with his studies, and he earned Gold Medal in Masters of Philosophy from Barkatulla University, Bhopal.

Shivraj Singh joined Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a volunteer during the same time and since then has been an active social worker and a popular leader. He actively participated in the underground movement against Emergency and was imprisoned in 1976-77 for nine months along with senior RSS and Bharatiya Jan Sangh leaders. He became the youngest person to be arrested under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA). His interaction with senior leaders during his jail stay helped in shaping up his leadership and vision at an early age. He was deeply influenced by the ‘Antyoday philosophy’ of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.

He was made ‘Sangathan Mantri' of ABVP after his release from jail post emergency. Soon after lifting of the emergency, elections followed, and Shivraj Chouhan became the star campaigner for Bhartiya Jan Sangh.

In 1984 Shri Chouhan became Pradesh Mantri of ABVP and then Mahamantri. In 1988 he became President of ABVP for Madhya Pradesh. He participated and led many movements in the state and build a reputation of a firebrand young leader with the mass appeal. His stature received a boost when he successfully led ‘Kranti Mashaal Yatra' in Bhopal in 1988. State top leadership was impressed by the participation and discipline of young cadre as well as impact of this rally. This yatra became the first significant chapter in his political journey.

At the young age of 31, Shri Shivraj was elected to the state legislative assembly from Budhni constituency in 1990. He defeated his nearest Congress rival by over 22,000 votes. While he canvassed extensively for party candidates in various elections for past 15 years, this was the first time he was seeking votes for himself. He was probably the first leader in modern Indian history to ask funds from people to fight the election and coined the famous slogan 'One vote, one note' - urging people to donate one rupee while they vote for him.  This honesty hit the chord with the voters, and this public money funded his entire election campaign signifying his popularity as a mass leader.

However, he could remain MLA for only a year as the luck had something else in store for him.

 In the year 1991, after Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee resigned from Vidisha parliamentary seat, Shivraj Singh Chouhan was made BJP candidate, and he won the seat becoming one of the youngest MPs. In the year 1992, he became the General Secretary of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).

He was re-elected to the 11th Lok Sabha from Vidisha in 1996. During this period he was an active member of various Lok Sabha committees on Urban and Rural Development, Human Resource Development, Hindi Salahkar Samiti and Labour Welfare.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan scored a hat trick in the 12th Lok Sabha elections in 1998 and fourth consecutive victory into 13th Lok Sabha in 1999. During this period, he was an active member of Committees on Agriculture and Public Undertakings. He also held the responsibility as the National President of BJYM from 2000 to 2003. He was also the Chairman of House Committee (Lok Sabha) and National Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party.

The second most important event in his political journey came in the year 2000 after he became President of BJYM. He planned a seminar for youth on ‘national security'. Party veterans Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, who addressed the gathering were very impressed by the huge turnout and successful organisation of the seminar.

Continuing his service to the society and people of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan registered the 5th consecutive victory into the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004. He was a member of the Committee on Agriculture; member of the Joint Committee on Offices of Profit. He also headed Housing Committee of Lok Sabha. Thus he holds a rare distinction of winning from the same Lok Sabha seat five consecutive times.

Shivraj Singh was appointed President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Madhya Pradesh in 2005.  On November 29, 2005, he was elected as the Chief Minister of the state. The following year he won the by-election to the Assembly from Budhni, from where he began his political journey in 1990.

In the year 2008, he led the party to its second consecutive victory in the state elections and assumed the office of the Chief Minister on December 12, 2008.

In the year 2013, Shivraj Singh led BJP to a third successive victory in the state and became Chief Minister for third straight time taking oath on December 14, 2013. He is the longest serving Chief Minister of the state.

Being a true son of the soil, he can identify himself with the socio-economic concerns of farmers, villagers, and commoners.

He brought in various schemes to revive the agriculture situation of the state – interest-free loans, improved irrigation through the restoration of canals, availability of power at subsidised rates, provision of certified seeds and adequate supply of fertilisers.

Due to his relentless efforts, the total agricultural output of the state has almost doubled in the last 11 years from 214 lakh metric tonnes in 2004-05 to 423 lakh metric tonnes in 2015-16. 

The state has been the recipient of the prestigious Krishi Karman Award for consecutive four years from 2011-12 to 2014-15 from President of India for highest food grain output in the country. This quiet but impressive revolution has been noted, appreciated by experts and farmers of other states.   

Madhya Pradesh was considered a weak state before 2003. Under Shivraj Singh's visionary and industry-friendly leadership, the state has clocked impressive GDP growth. It recorded the highest growth among states of 10.19% in 2014-15. The per capita income for the state has quadrupled from Rs. 15,400 in 2004-05 to around Rs. 60,000 in 2014-15 at current prices.

The state maintains a strong financial position under his leadership. It has consistently maintained a revenue surplus position since FY05 with fiscal deficit maintained at below 3%. The power situation has improved dramatically, from being a power deficit state when he took over, the state is now power surplus, thanks to his far-sighted policies. Madhya Pradesh is today ranked amongst the top five states in ‘ease of doing business' due to its pro-investment policies.

A firm believer in growth for all, Shivraj Singh has been striving to create an empowered Madhya Pradesh by focusing on providing better education facilities and employment opportunities to the state's youth.

Shivraj Singh's mother has had a profound influence on his life and philosophy.  He has consistently strived for women's cause and development. As a Chief Minister, he has spearheaded several initiatives for creating a positive social attitude towards girl child, underscoring the importance of imparting education to a girl child, improving the socio-economic security of women and their health and well-being.

In his first term as MLA in 1990, Shri Chouhan had carried out ‘kanyadan’ for a poor man’s daughter as he didn’t have the means. When he assumed office, he flagged off the Chief Minister's Kanyadan Yojana under which financial assistance is provided to poor for meeting the expenses of marriage.

Some of his other noteworthy initiatives are 'Beti Bachao Abhiyaan' and 'Ladli Laxmi Yojana', which was launched in 2006. Following the success of Ladli Laxmi Yojana in Madhya Pradesh, six other states emulated it. Similarly, schemes like Janani Suraksha Yojana, Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, Mamta Abhiyan, etc. have been started to provide all necessary care and health facilities to pregnant women.

Taking note of his exemplary work, the World Bank invited him to address a talk on women's social empowerment and improvement of access to services and livelihood in Madhya Pradesh.   

Shivraj Singh has also been actively engaged in activities for upliftment of scheduled castes, struggle against injustice and slums rehabilitation and promoting social harmony. First-of-its-kind in the country, Madhya Pradesh Public Service Guarantee Act has received a special award in the United Nations Public Service Award for 2012 for excellence in public service.

In a landmark decision, Shivraj Singh has initiated Madhya Pradesh Housing Guarantee Act wherein every household that belongs to the economically weaker section of the society, will be granted a house or a piece of residential land. This is a significant announcement which will contribute in making Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's ‘Housing for All by 2022' a grand success.

Acutely aware of the challenges facing rivers and their importance in our lives, Shivraj Singh started an ambitious ‘Namami Devi Narmade’ campaign to save the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh. The yatra has received the tremendous support from public, celebrities and environmentalists all over the world. It has been converted into a Jan Andolan and managed to create awareness about river conservation and keeping the river clean.

Shivraj Singh is adored by the people of his state due to his simplicity and humbleness. His connect with the pulse of the people and his exemplary dedication to serve them better is admired by one and all. A Jansevak. Jannayak and Yugpurush, Shivraj Singh is today amongst the tallest BJP leaders in the country.  

He is married to Smt. Sadhana Singh and is a father of two sons, Kartikey and Kunal, he finds time from his busy schedule to listen to his favourite songs and watch movies. He takes a keen interest in spiritual literature and debates and discussions with like-minded people and friends. He thoroughly enjoys playing kabaddi, cricket, and volleyball.


A tall public figure with a relentless drive to dedicate his life to the service of the society, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan is one of the few Indian politicians, who are making a positive difference to the polity and growth of our country.