P. V. Narasimha Rao

P. V. Narsimha Rao

P. V. Narsimha Rao

Date of Birth : June 28, 1921
Date of Death : December 23, 2004

Mini Biography :

Son of Shri P. Ranga Rao, Shri Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao was born on June 28, 1921 at Karimnagar. He studied in Osmania University, Hyderabad, Bombay University and the Nagpur University.

Being an agriculturist and an advocate, he joined politics and held some important portfolios. He was the Minister of Law and Information, 1962-64; Law and Endowments, 1964-67; Health and Medicine, 1967 and Education, 1968-71, Government of Andhra Pradesh. He was the Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh, 1971-73; General Secretary, All India Congress Committee, 1975-76; Chairman, Telugu Academy, Andhra Pradesh, 1968-74; Vice-President, Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Madras, from 1972. He
was also Member, Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, 1957-77; Member, Lok Sabha 1977-84 and was elected to Eighth Lok Sabha from Ramtek in December, 1984. As Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, 1978-79 he participated in a Conference on South Asia convened by the School of Asian and African Studies, London University. Shri Rao also Chaired Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan’s Andhra Centre; he was Minister for External Affairs from January 14, 1980 to July 18, 1984; Minister of Home Affairs from July 19, 1984 to December 31, 1984 and the Minister of Defence from December 31, 1984 to September 25, 1985. He then assumed charge as Minister of Human Resource Development on September 25, 1985.

During the period when he was Minister of External Affairs, Shri Rao successfully brought to bear his scholarly background and rich political and administrative experience on the field of international diplomacy. He chaired the III Conference of UNIDO at New Delhi in January 1980, within a few days of assuming charge. He also chaired a meeting of the Group of 77 at New York in March 1980. More recently, his role at the Conference of Foreign Ministers of Non-aligned Countries in February 1981 earned him wide appreciation. Shri Rao has shown keen personal interest in international economic issues and personally led the Indian delegation to the Conference of the Group of 77 on ECDC at Caracas, in May 1981.

1982 and 1983 were eventful years for India and its foreign policy. In the shadow of the Gulf war the Non-aligned Movement asked India to host the Seventh Summit. This also meant India assuming the Chair of the Movement and Smt. Indira Gandhi becoming its Chairperson. Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao presided over meetings of Foreign Ministers of Non-aligned Nations on the eve of the New Delhi Summit and also at the United Nations both in 1982, when India was asked to host the Summit and the following year when, at the initiative of the Movement, informal consultations amongst Heads of State and Government from diverse nations across the world were held at New York.

Shri Rao was also the Leader of the Special Non-aligned Mission that visited countries in West Asia in November 1983, in an effort to resolve the Palestian Liberation Organisation. Shri Rao was associated actively with the Commonwealth Heads of Government in New Delhi and with the Action Group set up by the meeting on the question of Cyprus.

In his capacity as Minister of External Affairs, Shri Narasimha Rao has chaired on behalf of India a number of Joint Commissions including those with the U.S.A., U.S.S.R., Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Vietnam, Tanzania and Guyana.

Shri Narasimha Rao took over as Home Minister on July 19, 1984. He was re-appointed to this post, with the additional charge of the Ministry of Planning, on November 5, 1984. Appointed Minister of Defence from December 31, 1984 to September 25, 1985. On September 25,1985 he took over as Minister of Human Resource Development.

Rao very nearly retired from politics in 1991. It was the assassination of the Congress President Rajiv Gandhi that made him make a comeback. As the Congress had won the largest number of seats in the 1991 elections, he got the opportunity to head the minority government as Prime Minister. He was the first person outside the Nehru-Gandhi family to serve as Prime Minister for five continuous years, the first to hail from South India and also the first from the state of Andhra Pradesh.Since Rao had not contested the general elections, he then participated in a by-election in Nandyal to join the parliament. N.T.Rama Rao (then leader of the Chief Opposition party of Telugu Desam) did not want to put a contestant against Rao, because he was the First Prime Minister of India from Andhra Pradesh, and NTR did not want to create an obstacle on his path. By that, Rao won from Nandyal with a victory margin of a record 5 lakh (500,000) votes and his win was recorded in the Guinness Book Of World Records. His cabinet included Sharad Pawar, himself a strong contender for the Prime Minister’s post, as defence minister. He also broke convention by appointing a non-political economist and future prime minister, Manmohan Singh as his finance minister.

Rao suffered a heart attack on 9 December 2004, and was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences where he died 14 days later at the age of 83.He was cremated with full state honors. His body was kept in state at the Jubilee Hall in Hyderabad.

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