Rajesh Pilot


Rajesh Pilot
Rajesh Pilot 2008 stamp of India.jpg
Rajesh Pilot on a 2008 stamp of India
Minister of state Internal Security
In office
Prime MinisterP. V. Narasimha Rao
Minister of Telecommunications
In office
Prime MinisterP. V. Narasimha Rao
Minister of Surface Transport
In office
Prime MinisterRajiv Gandhi
P. V. Narasimha Rao
In office
Member of the Indian Parliament
for Dausa
In office
January 1991 – 11 June 2000
Preceded byNawal Kishore Sharma
Succeeded byNathu Singh
In office
Preceded byNathu Singh
Succeeded byRama Pilot
Member of the Indian Parliament
for Bharatpur
In office
Preceded byRam Kishan
Succeeded byNatwar Singh
Personal details
Rajeshwar Prasad Singh Bidhuri

(1945-02-10)10 February 1945
Barmandpur near chaprana ki mandiya Gulaothi, United Provinces, British India
Died11 June 2000(2000-06-11) (aged 55)
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Political partyIndian National Congress
Spouse(s)Rama Pilot
ChildrenSachin Pilot (Son)
Sarika Pilot (Daughter)
Military career
Nickname(s)Neta Ji
Allegiance India
Service/branch Indian Air Force
Years of service1966–1979
RankFlag of Indian Squadron Leader.svg Squadron Leader
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1971

Squadron Leader Rajeshwar Prasad Singh Bidhuri (10 February 1945–11 June 2000), also known as Rajesh Pilot (UK: /ˈrɑːɪʃ pɑːɪllʌtə/) was an Indian politician, a minister in the Government of India and a former Indian Air Force officer. He belonged to the Indian National Congress party and represented the Dausa constituency in Lok Sabha. His original name was Rajesh Bidhuri. He died in a road accident, a few days after filing a nomination to contest as the president of the Congress party.

Early life and air force career

Rajeshwar Prasad Singh Bidhuri was born in Baidpura Village of now Greater Noida and belonged to the Bidhuri clan or gotra of Gurjar caste. He was respected from an early age as he was admitted to Indian Air Force, which was an outstanding achievement in rural India. Rajeshwar Prasad, was commissioned in the General Duties (Pilot) branch of the Indian Air Force as a pilot officer on 29 October 1966.[1] He was promoted to flying officer on 29 October 1967 and to flight lieutenant on 29 October 1971.[2][3] He fought in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 as a bomber pilot,[4] flying a modified de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou.[5] He was promoted to squadron leader on 29 October 1977.[6] On 8 August 1978, he was seconded to the Ministry of Agriculture.[7]

In late 1979, Prasad resigned his commission while posted in Jaisalmer to join politics, under the influence of his friend Rajiv Gandhi, who later became the Prime Minister of India. He contested the 1980 Lok Sabha elections as an INC candidate from Bharatpur, changing his surname to Pilot at the same time.[4]

In politics

Pilot emerged as a prominent Gurjar leader in India.[8] In his first election as a candidate, Pilot defeated the former queen of Bharatpur.

On an official visit to the Netherlands in 1988, his Dutch counterpart, learning Pilot was a former IAF officer, arranged for him to fly a RNLAF F-16; the IAF subsequently invited Pilot to test a new MiG-29 following his return to India.[5]

He sent Chandraswami to prison when he was the Internal Security Minister. Later, he lost the election for the post of Congress president to Sitaram Kesri, but remained in the first line of Congress leaders.

Rajesh Pilot died on 11 June 2000 in a car accident near Jaipur.[9][10]

India Post has issued a commemorative postage stamps of ₹5.00 on 11 June 2008.

In New Delhi and Gurgaon, a road has been named in his honour. In Rewari, a roundabout has been named after him in his honour.

Political career

Year Event
1980 Won Lok Sabha elections from Bharatpur, Rajasthan
1984 Won Lok Sabha elections from Dausa, Rajasthan
1985–89 Minister for Surface Transport
1987 Set up the Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Trust
1991–93 Minister for Telecommunication, Government of India
1993–95 Minister for Internal Security, Government of India
1995–96 Minister for Surface Transport
1996 Won Lok Sabha elections from Dausa, Rajasthan
1999 Won Lok Sabha elections from Dausa, Rajasthan


Poorvi Star
Special Service Medal
Sangram Medal Sainya Seva Medal 25th Anniversary Independence Medal 9 Years Long Service Medal


  1. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Air Branch)". The Gazette of India. 29 April 1967. p. 343.
  2. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Air Branch)". The Gazette of India. 4 May 1968. p. 373.
  3. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Air Branch)". The Gazette of India. 13 May 1972. p. 697.
  4. ^ a b Josy Joseph (12 June 2000). "Rajesh Pilot: Baidpura mourns the death of a legend". Rediff.com. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Rajesh Pilot flies F-16 during official visit to Holland". India Today. 31 August 1988. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Air Branch)". The Gazette of India. 15 July 1978. p. 703.
  7. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Air Branch)". The Gazette of India. 17 November 1979. p. 1014.
  8. ^ R. R. Nair (14 February 1998). "BJP seeking to thwart Pilot on non-Gujjar votes". Rediff.com. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  9. ^ "Rajesh Pilot killed in road accident". The Hindu. 11 June 2000. Archived from the original on 18 August 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  10. ^ Kamla Bora (11 June 2000). "Rajesh Pilot dies in road mishap". Rediff.com. Retrieved 2 May 2012.