Chief Ministership of N. T. Rama Rao

Chief Ministership of N. T. Rama Rao

The political priorities of N. T. Rama Rao were widely debated with the right accusing him of economic populism, the left accusing him of diverting resources away for government employee benefits, and his supporters arguing that they are worth while investments into development and social net projects.

Domestic priorities

1. Rs2/kg rice for agricultural laborers with less than Rs. 500 income per month (forty cents per day).[1]

2. Successfully modifying the Hindu-Succession-Act to give equal default property inheritance rights for women.[1]

3. Divestment of non-performing state industry - Allwyn Motors to Mahindra & Mahindra Motors[2]

4. Strong states with a stronger center economic model initiated by Rama Rao approved by the country.[1]

5. Passed Prohibition legislation and dissolved government manufacture of cheap alcohol aimed at the mass market segment.[3]

6. Pay checks of category 3 or lower employees can be cashed only with a spousal signature. (To avoid gambling and drinking away the check before the wife sees any money.)[4]

7. Complete Computerization of TDP organization structure and building an org structure village by village to form a stable second party. Built a stable coalition of parties to give a clear two party choice for the telugu voter.[5]

8. Overhauled the entire state's education syllabus for schools. He instituted statewide entrance examinations for all disciplines of higher education vis-à-vis Engineering and Medicine to name a few called EAMCET (Engineering and Medical Common Entrance Test). Students, based on the merit of their ranks obtained in these tests, could join any state college of their choice.[6]

9. Rama Rao created a new commando force for the state and was very successful in combating naxalism both ideologically and militarily. Communal rioting in Hyderabad had been put to rest for good during his term.[7]

10. Rama Rao put an end to annual communal rioting in Hyderabad during Ganesh Nimmajan.[8]

11. Vizag steel plant which had been struggling since its foundation went online during his term, in no small part, due to his active lobbying with the central government.

12. He recruited worldwide medical talent and improved higher end medical capabilities of the capital city and founded a medical university in Vijayawada.

13. He reformed the administration of Tirupathi and converted it into a modern tourist attraction. (Computerized registration and transparent board to run financial system.)

14. He did away with the feudal munsif (munusobu) and karanam system to empower elected leaders of the local government. The state government introduced entrance exams for vedic subjects and opened up priest positions in temples to non-inherited candidates.

15. He built the largest bus station in Asia, commissioned the largest Buddha statue in the world at the time to highlight the Buddhist heritage and history of Andhra Pradesh.

16. He adorned Tank Bund with the statues of great Telugu personalities creating a sense of heritage.

17. He guaranteed one light bulb per household to give educational opportunities to the lowest economic class of rural Andhra Pradesh.[9]

18. He reformed water distribution system from major reservoirs in the state by giving farmer organizations (raitu sangam) a say in planning.

19. Started low-income housing project and built 500,000 houses in five years to replace thatched houses. The program continued for nine more years under his successor Naidu and added another 1 million homes. The program continues to this day under Reddy's government building another 300,000 houses under Reddy's five year term.[10]

20. Rama Rao abolished the legislative council calling it an un-productive expense to the exchequer, an un-elected un-representative body used to distribute political favors to out-of-work politicians.[11]

21. Rama Rao introduced a mid-day-meal program for primary school children from families earning less than Rs. 500/month.[12]

22. Rama Rao initiated the largest investment into irrigation systems in Andhra Pradesh since independence with the Telugu Ganaga Project designed to turn Rayala Seema green and provide drinking water to Madras.[13]

23. Rama Rao reduced the retirement age for government employees to 55 from 58. He used the National Security Act (NSA) to successfully crack down on the general strike called by government employee unions demanding bringing state government employees to central government employee pay levels. He used NGO (Non-Gazetted Officers) core to conduct exams on time across the state when state government teachers union called for a strike and threatened to ruin an entire academic year for the students. He furloughed the entire work force of Housing Construction Corporation a state government organization will fully pay till retirement claiming they did absolutely no work and that closing that organization would save money even if the state gave the employees free salaries. He claimed the secretariat employees got in the way of doing people's business and moved his office to a private ashram out side the city. He eliminated state government clerical positions that served the inherited positions of munsif (munosobu) and karanam.[14]

24. He successfully audited and brought the actual implementation of local body reservations program (for women, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes) compliant with the law. Even though the law was passed 15 yrs before he came to office, it was never fully implemented. He successfully passed 55% reservations for backward castes in professional educational institutes but was rebuked by the High Court and had to withdraw the legislation.[14]

25. Rama Rao successfully repealed the Andhra Safe Road transport act that nationalized private bus services saying he wanted to encourage small business allowing for private buses to compete with government road transport. He changed the mandate of government transportation to provide road service for under served markets (villages). Every village got road service during his tenure. He was however unable to deliver on his promise to relax the 1976 Urban Land Ceiling act and 1975 Agricultural land ceiling act. He argued that the land ceiling act interfered with small local entrepreneurs but was providing case by case exemptions to the politically connected and multi-national-corporations.

26. Rama Rao founded a national political coalition called The National Front and was elected its founding president. The National Front came to power in Delhi six months too late for him. His brain child of a highly federal party formed by a coalition of all the locally popular secular regional parties was successful but he died six months before he could see the fruits of his labor.

27. Rama Rao offered subsidized electricity to peasants (farmers earning less than Rs 12000/yr) at Rs50/yr for all the power used by a single pump set.[15]

28. Introduced subsidized clothing scheme for women with household incomes less than Rs500/month and procured the needed clothing from APCO (Andhra Pradesh Co-Operative society for traditional weavers).[16]

29. Rama Rao founded the Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam in Tirupati with the charter of expanding primary education for women in the state.[17]

30. Rama Rao initiated the construction and upgradation of airports in Tirupati, Vishakapatanam, Vijayawada and Warangal. He intiated the investment study for three ports in Nellore, Machilipatnam and Kakinada. He funded the construction of rural road network, the total miles of road laid (22,000 miles) is more than half of all the state roads in existence till date.[18]

31. Rama Rao's upgradation of the road network and air connectivity to Tirupati and his key role in the National Front Government helped him push the funding of Radar Research Center of Tirupati with the mandate to provide outer atmospheric forecasting to significantly accelerate the weather forecasting capabilities of Andhra. The three objectives were a) Support Srihari kota into accelarating the launching of education satellites for rural education, b) Enhance water resource planning capability to reduce wastage of river water while providing reliable agricultural water supply c) Enhance rural primary education with long distance learning programs using edusat and televisions is primary schools across rural Andhra.[19]

32. NFCL (National Fertilizer corporation of India) and GFCL (Godavari Fertilizer Corporation Of India), were intiated and very rapidly went online during is first and second terms of Mr.Rao respectively. Mr. KVK Raju made repeated references to Mr. Rao's support in creating a non-buerocratic environment for the development of NFCL. Andhra's use of fertilizers went from being 71% of Indian National Average per hectare to 191% of Indian Average (which was also growing) during Mr. Rao's term[20]. This tripling of technology use in Telugu agriculture resulted in over 30% agricultural Productivity gains during his two terms. Such agricultural productivity gains were never observed since independence expect during the period when NargarjunSagar went online[21].


  1. ^ a b c "Messiah Of Masses". The Hindu. 
  2. ^ "In-efficient State institutes divested". Business Standard. 
  3. ^ "Prohibition - Dry State Law". OutlookIndia. 
  4. ^ "Government regulations for state employees". By Govt of Andhra Pradesh. Govt of Andhra pradesh, public law. 
  5. ^ Neuss, Juergen (1998). Rao.pdf "The Rama Rao phenomenon reconsidered". INTERNATIONALES ASIENFORUM, Bd. 29 (1998), No. 1-2, pp. 23-45. Arnold Bergstraesser Institut, Freiburg: 1998.. Freie Universität Berlin 29. Rao.pdf. 
  6. ^ "Rama Rao-Profile". 
  7. ^ "Naxalism - Retreat of Civil Governance". SATP.ORG. 
  8. ^ "Making of Hyderabad Riots". Economic and Political Weekly 26. Feb 9, 1991. JSTOR 4397302. 
  9. ^ Rao.aspx "Reforms - Rama Rao". Rao.aspx. 
  10. ^ Rao.aspx "Hyderabad Stalwarts". Jai Hyderabad. Rao.aspx. 
  11. ^ "Looking for upsides of an Upper House". The Indian Express - second last paragraph from bottom. Retrieved 12 March 2007. 
  12. ^ "Cabinet Recommends Sambar ..". Times Of India. 28 Sep 2002. 
  13. ^ "Telugu Ganaga gets renamed after its architect-Rama Rao". 28 Feb 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Mishra, Bhavana (2000). Politics of opposition and union-state relations. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD.,. pp. 275–279. ISBN 81-261-0495-3. 
  15. ^ The Political Economy of Agricultural Policy Reform in India. ELECTRICITY SUPPLY TO AGRICULTURE IN ANDHRA PRADESH AND PUNJAB: Regina Birner 1, Surupa Gupta 2, Neeru Sharma 1 and Nethra Palaniswamy 1. 2007. pp. 73. 
  16. ^ Dr.B.Saranga, Pani; Srinivasulu K (2004). "State Regimes and Power Sector Policies in Andhra Pradesh". Governance and Policy Spaces Project, Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad Political Articulation and Policy Discourse in the 2004 Election in Andhra Pradesh,: 2. 
  17. ^ "Prospectus for the University admission". Description of the history and reasons for the establishment of the university. Sri Padmavati Mahila Vishwa Vidyalayam. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Sanjay Kumar, Singh (06-12-2000). "State Road transportation undertakings from 1983-84-1996-97: A multilateral analysis of total productivity". Indian Journal of Transportation Management. 5 25: 363–388. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "NATIONAL MST Radar Facility(NMRF)". ISRO - Independent projects. ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  20. ^
  21. ^

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