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C Vidyasagar Rao’s profile: Tamil Nadu political crisis puts focus on Governor

The power tussle in Tamil Nadu between O Panneerselvam and Sasikala Natarajan has shifted the spotlight on Tamil Nadu governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao.

ch-vidyasagar-rao-759 Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao

The power tussle in Tamil Nadu between O Panneerselvam and Sasikala Natarajan has shifted the spotlight on Tamil Nadu governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao. Rao is also the governor of Maharashtra and has a lifelong association with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and even served as MoS Home Affairs in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government at the Centre.

Vidyasagar Rao took oath as Governor of Maharashtra on August 30, 2014 and took over that charge in Tamil Nadu on September 2, 2016. He was born in 1942 and joined the local RSS shakha at a very young age.

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Rao studied B.Sc and then went on to attain an LLB degree from the Law College of Osmania University. Associated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of RSS, he fought the students’ union election and was elected president. He was vocally opposed to the extreme Left and according to reports, he survived an attempt on his life by Naxalites.

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After starting formal law practice in 1973, he took to a career in politics. He was appointed president of Jan Sangh and President of Janta Party, Karimnagar as well.

Before he stood for Lok Sabha elections, Vidyasagar Rao was elected thrice to Andhra Pradesh Assembly in 1985,1989 and 1994 from the Metpalli Assembly in Karimnagar District. He was BJP’s floor leader in the Assembly during the course of the three terms.

He belongs to a politically influential family from north Telangana and is from the Velamma community. His brother Rajeshwar Rao is former Communist Party of India General Secretary and other sibling Hanumantha Rao is a former member of the Planning Commission. He was also one of the old voices demanding separate statehood for Telangana.

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He has been a two-time parliamentarian being elected to the 12th and 13th Lok Sabha. He won his first Lok Sabha election from Karimnagar constituency. In 1999, the year he won his second Lok Sabha election, he was also elected as president of BJP’s state unit.

Apart from MoS Home Affairs in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government from 1999-2004, he was given the post of MoS for Commerce and Industry as well. In the 2004 elections, Rao suffered defeat at that hands of TRS leader and now Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. In subsequent elections, he fell out of favour of the party. He, however, managed to get a ticket in 2014, but lost to his nephew, a TRS candidate.

First published on: 09-02-2017 at 01:14:56 pm
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