Singh, Vishwanath Pratap (vĭshwänˈät präˈtäp sĭng) [key], 1931–2008, Indian politician and prime minister (1989–90). As finance minister under Rajiv Gandhi (1984–87) he pursued policies of economic liberalization. Expelled from Gandhi's Congress party in 1989, he formed a broad-based anti-Congress coalition, the Janata Dal. He became prime minister of a minority government when he deprived the Congress of a majority in the 1989 parliamentary elections. Inherently unstable, his government was marked by factionalism and undermined by opposition to his decision to reserve some public sector jobs for the lower classes; he was forced to resign in 1990.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.