Jivatram Bhagwandas Kripalani (11 November 1888 – 19 March 1982), popularly known as Acharya Kripalani, was an Indian politician, noted particularly for holding the presidency of the Indian National Congress during the transfer of power in 1947 and the husband of Sucheta Kripalani (first female Chief Minister, in Uttar Pradesh)
Kripalani was a Gandhian socialist, environmentalist, mystic and idependence activist. activist. He grew close to Gandhi and at one point, he was one of Gandhi’s most ardent disciples.
Kripalani was a familiar figure to generations of dissenters, from the Non-Cooperation Movements of the 1920s to the Emergency of the 1970s.
He had served as the General Secretary of the INC for almost a decade. Disputes between the party and the Government over procedural matters affected his relationship with the colleagues in the Government.
Kripalani served in the interim government of India (1946–1947) and the Constituent Assembly of India. During this time he rejected the proposal of United Bengal from Abul Hashim and Sarat Bose and called for the division of Bengal and the Punjab.
In October 1961, Kripalani contested the Lok Sabha seat of V.K. Krishna Menon, then serving as Minister of Defence, in a race that would come to attract extraordinary amounts of attention. The Sunday Standard observed of it that “no political campaign in India has ever been so bitter or so remarkable for the nuances it produced”. Kripalani, who had previously endorsed Menon’s foreign policy, devoted himself to attacking his vituperative opponent’s personality, but ultimately lost the race, with Menon winning in a landslide.
Kripalani remained in opposition for the rest of his life and was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1952, 1957, 1963 and 1967 as a member of Praja Socialist Party. His wife since 1938, Sucheta Kripalani, remained in Congress and went from strength to strength in the Congress party.
Kripalani moved the first-ever No confidence motion on the floor of the Lok Sabha in August 1963, immediately after the disastrous India-China War.
He died on 19 March 1982 at the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad, at the age of 93.