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After resigning from the cabinet, Lal Bahadur Shastri used to sit with the house lights off, know why

Lal Bahadur Shastri resigned from the Nehru cabinet in the year 1963. After this, he used to light fewer lights in the house. Because he used to pay the electricity bill out of pocket.

After the death of the first Prime Minister of the country, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, there was a stir in the Congress. Morarji Desai was presenting his claim for the post of PM. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s name was also coming up, but he was not enthusiastic about it and was seen last. Congress leaders had stamped the name of Lal Bahadur Shastri in place of Desai. He became the Prime Minister of the country on 9 June 1964.

He used to sit with the lights off in the house. After Lal Bahadur Shastri became the Prime Minister, the Indo-Pakistani War took place. On the other hand, America was continuously threatening India. All these challenges were overcome very easily by Lal Bahadur Shastri. Lal Bahadur Shastri had earlier also handled the responsibility of the Ministry of Railways and Home. Late journalist Kuldip Nayar had told an anecdote related to Shastri in a conversation with ‘BBC’ when Shastri used to sit with the lights of the house switched off due to electricity bills.

Kuldip Nayar had told, ‘Lal Bahadur Shastri had to resign from the Nehru cabinet under the Kamaraj plan. Then he used to be the Home Minister of the country. This thing is from the year 1963. That evening I went to Shastriji’s house. There was darkness all over the house. Only the light of the drawing room was on. Shastri was sitting there reading the newspaper alone. I asked him why the outside lights are not on. He said, now I will have to pay the electricity bill of this house out of pocket. That’s why I can’t tolerate lighting lights everywhere.

Used to write articles in the newspaper: According to Kuldip Nayyar, Shastri used to get salary of Rs 500 as MP at that time. In such a situation, it was sometimes difficult for him to even take care of his family. I had also arranged for Shastri to write in some newspapers. From here he used to earn an extra 2000 rupees. His first article was on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the second article on Lala Lajpat Rai.

Kuldip Nayar wrote in his autobiography, I was once coming back by car with Shastri ji. He used to be the Home Minister. When the car suddenly stopped at the gate, both of us caught sight of the sugarcane juicer. He said- Kuldeep, let’s drink only a little sugarcane juice. Before that I would give some feedback. He got down and brought sugarcane juice to the car. It was all shocking to me that a Home Minister himself was doing this.


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