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Sardar Lachhman Singh Gill, Chief Minister of Punjab

Sardar Lachhman Singh Gill ( 1917-1969 ) was an Akali politician and Chief Minister of Punjab for a brief term from November 25, 1967 to August 23, 1968. He proved to be one of the efficient Chief Ministers as he did an outstanding job at the development of the state during his short term like ; grant of UGC ( University Grant Commission ) grades to the university teachers, declared Punjabi as the official language of the state, and connected all the villages to the market towns with metalled roads.

Lachhman Singh Gill discussed the development programme with Dr MS Randawa, Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana. Dr Randawa told him that if you could connect all the villages to the market towns with metalled roads, it will be a productive development and it will give impetus to improve the economy of the Punjab. Sardar Lachhman Singh did it very quickly only in 8 months of his tenure as Chief Minister. He announced on December 13, 1967, grant of UGC grades for university teachers. Recommendation of UGC grades encouraged the scientists to contribute maximum for the state. His first action as Chief Minister was to declare Punjabi as the official language of the Punjab. The language bill was passed in the Legislative Assambly on December 19, 1967. Punjabi was to come into force by January 14, 1968 up to district level and by April 13 up to secretariat level.

Sardar Lachhman Gill was born at Chuhar Chakk village in Moga. He started his career in 1937 as a government contractor. He became a member of Shiromani Akali Dal during the Punjabi Suba agitation. The agitation was started in 1950s in support of a separate state for the Punjabi speaking people to be carved out of the then existing Punjab. In 1960 began his membership of the executive committee of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee ( SGPC ). In 19601, he became the general secretary of the SGPC. In 1962 he was nominated as a member of the Shri Nankana Sahib Education Trust, Ludhiana. In 1966, he became the member of the Sikh Educational Committee for the management of Sikh collages.

In the 1962 General Election for the Punjab Legislature Assembly he won from Jagraon constituency. He again got elected from Dharamkot in 1967 in the newly restructured Punjab. In the subsequent united front government led by Akali Dal, he was appointed education minister and Justice Gurnam Singh became Chief Minister. Later with the support of Congress he formed a minority government on November 25, 1967. However Congress pulled their support on August 21, 1968 and the government fell. But during this short period Sardar Lachhman Singh Gill as a Chief Minister did a remarkable job, which will be remembered by the coming generations. He died of a severe heart attack at Chandigarh on April 26, 1969. He left everlasting impression on the politics of Punjab, and people remember him as the second Kairon ( Sardar Partap Singh Kairon ) of Punjab. Sardar Partap Singh Kairon did consolidation of land and Sardar Lachhman Singh Gill connected all the villages to market towns with metalled roads. These were the two important components which resulted in fast development of Punjab, and it became one of the best states of India. But now, Punjab is amongst the bottom in terms of development.

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