Shri Digvijay Singh, (born 14 November 1955) is an Indian politician from the state of Bihar and is presently an Independent Member of the Parliament of India representing Banka in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament.
As of May 2009, Digvijay Singh has been a Member of the Parliament of India five times - three times in the Lok Sabha (1998, 1999, 2009) and two times in the Rajya Sabha (1990, 2004). He served as Union Minister of State in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government (1999-2004) and Chandrashekhar Government (1990-1991).
Digvijay Singh studied at the famous Patna University before doing his M.A and M.Phil from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He also studied at Tokyo University for some time. He was even offered lucrative job in academics by Tokyo university but the burning zeal to do something for the people of Gidhaur in particular and the people of Bihar in general motivated him to return back and thereafter his journey to mainstream politics began. His father was manager in Gidhaur Royal Estate.
His nick name is 'Dada', an affectionate word meaning 'elder brother'.
Digvijay Singh was involved in Politics from his student times and was the President of the prestigious student union of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
In 1983, Digvijay Singh accompanied veteran socialist politician Chandrashekhar during his 'Bharat Yatra' march through the heartland of India.
He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1990. He remained in the Rajya Sabha until 1996. In 1994, when George Fernandes created the Samata Party as an offshoot of the Janata Dal party, Digvijay Singh was one of the founding members along with Nitish Kumar. Digvijay served as the spokesperson of the Samata Party.
He was elected to the 12th Lok Sabha (1998) on the Samata Party ticket and for a second term again in the 13th Lok Sabha (1999) from the same Banka Lok Sabha Constituency in Bihar. In October, 2003, the Samata Party was merged with the Janata Dal (United), which is in power in the state of Bihar since 2005.
Digvijay Singh was defeated in the 2004 General Elections. However, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the second time in his career in 2004.
In April 2009, Digvijay Singh voluntarily resigned from the Rajya Sabha before going on to run as an independent candidate for the Banka Lok Sabha seat in the 2009 General Elections. He won from the Banka Lok Sabha seat for the third time on May 16, 2009.
In 1990, when the Vishwanath Pratap Singh government at the Center fell later that year and Chandrashekhar formed a government with the outside support of the Congress Party, Digvijay Singh was made a Union Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance and Union Deputy Minister, Ministry of External Affairs.
In 1998, Digvijay Singh went on to join the Atal Bihari Vajpayee's NDA government at the center, becoming Union Minister of State, Ministry of Railways from 13 Oct. 1999 - 22 July 2001, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Commerce and Industry from 22 July 2001- 1 Sept. 2001, again Union Minister of State, Ministry of Railways from 1 Sept. 2001- 30 June 2002. From 1 July 2002 - 12 May 2004, he was Union Minister of State, Ministry of External Affairs.
Digvijay Singh is the President, National Rifle Association of India since 1999 and is the Vice-President of the Indian Olympic Association. It might be noted that Indian shooters have achieved considerable success during this 10-year old period.
While he was a minister at the Central Government, Digvijay Singh was instrumental in getting the Sports Authority of India open a Special Area Games Center in his hometown of Gidhaur, which fell under the Banka Lok Sabha seat, before the new delimitation of constituencies came into effect.
Digvijay Singh has built the Sona Devi Charitable Hospital in his home town of Gidhaur. He has also created a foundation, the Gidhaur Foundation, which organizes social and cultural functions every year.
Digvijay Singh is married to Putul Kumari and has two daughters.