Senior leader of the Bhartiya Janta Party and Defence Minister of India, Singh started his political career in 1975, as the district president of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh for the Bhartiya Jan Sangh, the predecessor of the BJP.
He was the district coordinator for the JP movement and was imprisoned for 18 months during the Emergency. A long time associate of the Rashrtiya Swyamsevak Sangh, Rajnath Singh became the BJP’s youth wing president in 1984, Uttar Pradesh. He soon rose to ranks and became the state education minister in 1991. In 1994, he was elected to be a Rajya Sabha MP which was soon followed by him becoming the UP state president for the BJP. After serving as a cabinet minister in the 1997 Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, in 2000 Singh was inducted as the chief minister of UP. He again served in the cabinet, as the Minister of Agriculture from 2003-04. In 2005, after party veteran LK Advani resigned following NDA’s loss in the 2005 Lok Sabha elections, Singh was elected as BJP’s National President -- a position he held again in 2013, after his successor Nitin Gadkari was forced to resign amid corruption charges. In 2014, he was elected as a Lok Sabha member from Lucknow, and has been serving as the Minister of Home Affairs since.