When Haryana woman MP humbled Vajpayee on his home-turf

CHANDIGARH: It is little known fact that in the 1962 parliamentary polls, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was defeated by a woman MP from Haryana.

When Haryana woman MP humbled Vajpayee on his home-turf

Vajpayee was elected to Parliament on 12 occasions. File photo

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 17

A great parliamentarian as he was–he became MP on 12 occasions, including election to Rajya Sabha twice, it is little known fact that in the 1962 parliamentary polls, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was defeated by a woman MP from Haryana.

Subhadra Joshi, who won the 1951 and 1957 parliamentary polls from Karnal and Ambala constituencies of Haryana (then Punjab) respectively, defeated Vajpayee in the next general election in 1962 in his home constituency Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh.

Though not originally from Haryana–Joshi was born on March 23, 1919 in Sialkot, Pakistan, and lived in Delhi till her death on October 30, 2003–she was a sitting MP from Ambala when she humbled Vajpayee on his home turf in 1962.

Old-timers recall that the Vajpayee-Joshi contest in 1962 was the first election when there was a Bollywood star campaign in an election, as then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru utilised the services of film star Balraj Sahni to humble Vajpayee at the hustings.

After having served the first three Lok Sabhas constituted in 1951, 1957 and 1962, Joshi was again elected as MP for the fifth Lok Sabha from the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency in Delhi.

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