A man of simplicity, high thinking
Centenary celebrations begin today It is a matter of shame that his village Illuru lacks even basic amenities even today. There are no proper water ...
Centenary celebrations begin today It is a matter of shame that his village Illuru lacks even basic amenities even today. There are no proper water facilities or drainage system in the village.A Hyderabad: The former President of India Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, whose birth centenary falls this year, was born in Illuru village of Garledinne mandal in the district to Neelam Chinnappa Reddy and Neelam Chinna Subbamma on May 19, 1913. A man of simplicity and high thinking, he had his primary schooling in Illuru and later completed his metric from the Theosophical school in Madanapalle district. Responding to the call of Mahatma Gandhi during the civil disobedience movement, Neelam gave up college education and plunged into the freedom struggle in 1931. In 1937, he became an ordinary worker of the Congress party and a freedom fighter. In 1946, Sanjiva Reddy became a member of the Legislative Assembly of the composite Madras State. His brother Neelam Rajasekhar Reddy also played a key role in the freedom struggle. In 1947, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly. During the years 1949-51, Neelam served as Minister of Prohibition, Housing and Forests in the Madras Government. He became the president of the Andhra Congress Committee in 1951. When the Andhra state was formed in October 1953, Neelam became the Deputy Chief Minister under Bezawada Gopala Reddy. He maintained an excellent rapport with the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and other important national leaders. When Andhra Pradesh was formed on November 1, 1956, Sanjiva Reddy became the first chief minister and continued in the post till 1960. For two years, he served as the president of the Indian National Congress till 1962. He resigned as Chief Minister when the Supreme Court made some critical observations on the decision to nationalize the bus routes in Kurnool. As chief minister, Neelam took several measures for the development of Andhra Pradesh and he played a key role in the construction of the Nagarjunasagar dam and Prakasam Barrage. He made his mark in the field of education in the establishment of Sri Venkateshwara University at Tirupati. For 15 years, he was the strongman and undisputed leader of Andhra Pradesh. Furthermore, Neelam was responsible for securing permission for Pochampadu project, Srisailam Hydroelectric power station. He made efforts in setting up the Vamshadhara project, Tungabhadra Upper Canal Scheme and Ramagundam Thermal Power Project and the Anantapuramu High Level Canal. A great visionary, he also took several measures for the industrial development of Andhra Pradesh by setting up many industries in Hyderabad and Vishakhapatnam. Sanjiva Reddy was elected from the Hindupuram Parliamentary Constituency in the general elections of 1967 and was elected Speaker of the Lok Sabha and continued till 1969. Although being a Speaker, he clashed with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on a few occasions. After the sudden death of the then President of India Dr Zakir Hussian in May 1969, Reddy was chosen as the official party candidate by the Indian National Congress to contest for the Presidency. However, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi decided to support the independent candidate V V Giri and appealed to the voters to exercise their vote according to their conscience. The Presidential election of India was considered to be a watershed in Indian politics as it resulted in a split in the Indian National Congress and changed the political landscape of the country. Sanjiva Reddy lost by a slender margin and went into political wilderness till 1977 when the Janata Party was voted to power. In 1977, Sanjiva Reddy was the lone Janata Party candidate who won from the Nandyala Parliamentary constituency defeating the Congress nominee Pendekanti Venkatasubbiah. In the same year, he was elected unopposed as President of India and continued till 1982. During his tenure as President, the Janata Party government collapsed in 1979 due to internal bickering. Sanjiva Reddy had to dissolve the Lok Sabha and order fresh elections in which the Congress party led by Indira Gandhi stormed back to power. This put an end to the political instability in the country. He was no rubber stamp President and had a highly independent mind who exercised his discretionary powers with robust commonsense to resolve the political crisis that plagued the country in 1979. Sanjiva Reddy married Nagarathnamma and has four children - one son and three daughters. He died on June 1, 1996. He handed over his 60 acres of land to the government. However, it is a matter of shame that his village Illuru lacks even basic amenities even today. There are no proper water facilities or drainage system in the village. Even the school in which the former President studied lies in a dilapidated condition. Although the Primary Education Minister S Shailajanath who toured the village twice and promised that he would take up development works, nothing has been done to develop Illuru. Centenary fete atA Collectorate Kurnool: The centenary celebrations of the former President of India Dr Neelam Sanjiva Reddy would be celebrated at the Collectorate here on Sunday following instructions from the State Government to that effect. District Collector C Sudarsan Reddy appealed to the people's representatives, district officials to participate in the programme at 10 am on Sunday.