Darbara Singh was the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1980 to 1983. He was born at Jandiala in the Amritsar district of Punjab in 1916.
Singh became involved with the freedom movement under the aegis of Indian National Congress, being imprisoned by the British authorities for participation in the Quit India Movement between 1942 and 1945 and again in 1946.
In the aftermath of the partition of the country, he was involved in the creation of refugee camps for the displaced people. He started his political career as President of the Jullundur Congress Party (1946-1950) and subsequently served as its president from 1957-1964. He served in the Punjab Legislative Assembly from 1952-69. At the national level he was appointed to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in 1954 and served in the apex congress decision making body the Congress Working Committee from 1962, he held both appointments till his death in 1990.
He was elected to the lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha in 1971 from Hoshiarpur constituency.
In the state elections of 1980, he was elected to Punjab Legislative Assembly from Nakodar, and was appointed as Chief Minister on 17 February 1980. The 1980s were a turbulent time in the history of Punjab marked by an increase in violence and demand for a separate Sikh homeland, Sardar Darbara Singh remained Chief Minister for three years.
During this time his government was grappling with the rising Khalistani militancy in the state. There was a spate of assassinations, prime among them being the daylight murder of Lala Jagat Narain, Head of the Punjab Kesri group of newspapers of Jalandhar. Due to increase in terrorist violence, the tenure of the ministry was cut short and the Darbara Singh ministry resigned and President’s Rule was imposed in the state under Article 356 of Indian Constitution on June 6, 1983.