Salman Khurshid

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Salman Khurshid
Salman Khurshid portrait.jpg
Minister of External Affairs
In office
28 October 2012 – 26 May 2014
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by S. M. Krishna
Succeeded by Sushma Swaraj
Minister of Law and Justice
In office
28 May 2011 – 28 October 2012
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by Veerappa Moily
Succeeded by Ashwani Kumar
Personal details
Born (1953-01-01) 1 January 1953 (age 65)
Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
Nationality Indian
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Louise Khurshid
Alma mater University of Delhi
St Edmund Hall, Oxford

Salman Khurshid (born 1 January 1953 ) is an Indian politician and was the Cabinet Minister of the Ministry of External Affairs. He belongs to the Indian National Congress. He is a lawyer, and a writer[1] who has been elected from Farrukhabad Lok Sabha constituency in the General Election of 2009. He belongs to the Farrukhabad area. Prior to this he was elected to the 10th Lok Sabha (1991–1996) from the Farrukhabad Lok Sabha constituency. He became the Union Deputy Minister of Commerce in June 1991, and later became the Union Minister of State for External Affairs (Jan. 1993 – June 1996).[2] He started his political career in 1981 as an Officer on Special Duty in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) under the prime ministership of Indira Gandhi.

Early life and education

Born in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, he is the son of Khurshed Alam Khan a former Union Minister of External affairs, Government of India, and maternal grandson of Zakir Hussain, the third President of India.

He studied in St. Xavier's High School, Patna,[3] Delhi Public School, Mathura Road.[4] and college at St. Stephen's College, Delhi and St Edmund Hall, Oxford, Oxford, UK (B.A. (English and Jurisprudence), M.A., B.C.L.)[2] He also taught as Lecturer in Law at Trinity College, Oxford.

Political career

He started his political career as an Officer on Special Duty in the Prime Minister's Office, during the Prime Ministership of Indira Gandhi in the early 1980s. Later he became the Deputy Minister of Commerce in the Government of India, and then Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India from 1991–1996. During this period he was the Member of Parliament from the Farrukhabad constituency in Uttar Pradesh. In the General Election of 2009 he was once again elected as Member of Parliament from Farrukhabad, winning as a candidate of the Indian National Congress, with 1,69, 351 votes. He became the Union Minister of State (with Independent Charges) of Corporate Affairs and Minority Affairs in the Government of India. He took over as Minister on Friday, 29 May 2009. In the Cabinet reshuffle of 12 July 2011, he was made Cabinet Minister for Law and Justice, and Minority Affairs in the Government of India.

He came 4th and lost his deposit in the Lok Sabha elections 2014 contesting from Farrukhabad.

Political Offices

He has been the President of the Uttar Pradesh Pradesh Congress Committee twice. He was also the President of the Delhi Public School Society and Dr. Zakir Hussain Study Circle.

Political Views

Salman Khurshid appeared for Students Islamic Movement of India, a group banned in India and frequently charged by Indian authorities with terrorist activities, as its defence lawyer, appealing the 2002 ban; in June 2006 the Supreme Court of India rejected the appeal noting "the appeal against the ban should be first argued before the tribunal established for the purposes". Asked about his appearance, Khurshid said :"I would refuse a client only when I am personally satisfied that taking up the case would go against the ethics of the profession. A lawyer has to appear for an accused. It is my constitutional duty. A party and the government too cannot pre-judge an organisation."[5]

Khursid(left) shaking hand with John Kerry, Secretary of State, United States in 2013, during his term as the External affairs minister of india.

In 2009, incumbent president Sirajuddin Qureshi beat Salman Khurshid for the presidency of India Islamic Cultural Centre.[6] Campaign for the election was very intense which became high-profile with Khurshid's entry in the fray.[7]


Khurshid has been deeply involved in writing and acting in plays since his student days in Delhi and Oxford. He is the author of the play Sons of Babur, published by Rupa & Co., which has been staged, with Tom Alter in the lead role, at the Red Fort in Delhi.

Salman Khurshid has also been the editor of "The Contemporary Conservative: Selected Writings of Dhiren Bhagat" [8] published in 1990.


Khurshid and his wife Louise run the Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust for physically challenged people.[9] In October 2012, India Today and Aaj Tak alleged that the Kurshids had embezzled from the fund, a charge denied by the Khurshids. The ruling party Congress strongly defended Khurshid, but social activist Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party began what he called "indefinite agitation". Fearing an agitation Khurshid even threatened Arvind Kejriwal with dire consequences if he entered his constituency. Angered by the allegations, Khurshid called Arvind Kejriwal a 'guttersnipe'.[10] The case is still pending about the 7.1 million allegedly used by Salman Khurshid which was funded by the government to buy tricycles for the disabled.[11][12] In March 2014,Khurshid made controversial comments against Supreme Court and Election Commission regarding the conviction of criminal politicians.[13][14]

In 2012, Khurshid said in a rally in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh that Sonia Gandhi had cried for the death of terrorists during Batla House Encounter.[15] The Congress Party contradicted his statement, after which Mr. Khurshid claimed he had never made these comments.[16]


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Veerappa Moily
Minister of Law and Justice
Succeeded by
Ashwani Kumar
Preceded by
Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna
Minister of External Affairs
Succeeded by
Sushma Swaraj