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K. Chandrashekar Rao
KCR
Official portrait, April 2017
3rd Leader of Opposition in Telangana Assembly
Assumed office
9 December 2023
Chief MinisterRevanth Reddy
Preceded byVacant
Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka(2018-19)
1st Chief Minister of Telangana
In office
2 June 2014 – 7 December 2023
Governor
Deputy
Preceded byOffice established
(Kiran Kumar Reddy as Chief Minister of United Andhra Pradesh)
Succeeded byAnumula Revanth Reddy[1]
Member of the Telangana Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
2 June 2014
Preceded byTumkunta Narsa Reddy
ConstituencyGajwel
President of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi
Assumed office
5 October 2022
Working PresidentK. T. Rama Rao
Preceded byOffice Established
Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways
(Government of India)
In office
22 May 2004 – 25 May 2004
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byShatrughan Sinha
Succeeded byT. R. Baalu
Minister of Labour and Employment
(Government of India)
In office
27 November 2004 – 24 August 2006
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded bySis Ram Ola
Succeeded byManmohan Singh
15th Deputy Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly
In office
1999–2001
Speaker
Preceded byN. Mohammed Farook
Succeeded byKoppula Harishwar Reddy
Minister of Transport
(Government of Andhra Pradesh)
In office
1 September 1995 – 11 October 1999
Chief MinisterN. Chandrababu Naidu
Preceded byP. Chandrasekhar
Minister of Drought and Relief
(Government of Andhra Pradesh)
In office
1987–1988
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
2009–2014
Preceded byD. Vittal Rao
Succeeded byA. P. Jithender Reddy
ConstituencyMahbubnagar
In office
2004–2009
Preceded byC. Vidyasagar Rao
Succeeded byPonnam Prabhakar
ConstituencyKarimnagar
Member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly
In office
1985–2004
Preceded byAnanthula Madan Mohan
Succeeded byT. Harish Rao
ConstituencySiddipet
President of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi
In office
27 April 2001 – 5 October 2022
Working PresidentK. T. Rama Rao (from 15 December 2018)
Preceded byOffice Established
Succeeded byOffice Abolished
Personal details
Born (1954-02-17) 17 February 1954 (age 69)
Chintamadaka,[2][3] Hyderabad State, (present-day Telangana) India
Political partyBharat Rashtra Samithi (Since 2001)
Other political
affiliations
Indian National Congress (1980–1983)
Telugu Desam Party (1983–2001)
SpouseK. Shobha Grandchildren = K.Himanshu Rao
ChildrenK. T. Rama Rao (son)
K. Kavitha (daughter)
RelativesT. Harish Rao (nephew)
Joginapally Santosh Kumar (nephew)
ResidencePragathi Bhavan
Alma materWoodbridge high school

Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (born 17 February 1954), frequently known by his initials KCR, is an Indian politician currently representing the Gajwel Assembly constituency and serving as the leader of the opposition in the Telangana Legislative Assembly. He is the founder and leader of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, a state party in India.[4]

Early life

Chandrashekar Rao was born to Raghava Rao and Venkatamma on 17 February 1954 in Chintamadaka village, Hyderabad State (present-day Telangana).[5] He is of the Velama caste.[6] Rao has nine sisters and one elder brother.[7] He attained an MA degree in Telugu literature from Osmania University, Hyderabad.[8][9]

Early political career

Congress Party

Rao started his career with the Youth Congress Party in the Medak district, Telangana.[10]

Telugu Desam Party

In 1983, Rao joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) but was defeated by A. Madan Mohan in the election. He won four consecutive Assembly elections from Siddipet 1985 and 1999. From 1987 to 1988, he served as the Minister of Drought & Relief in Chief Minister N. T. Rama Rao's cabinet. In 1990, he was appointed TDP convener for Medak, Nizamabad, and Adilabad districts. In 1996, he served as Transport minister in Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu's cabinet.[citation needed] He also served as the deputy speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly from 2000 to 2001.[11]

Jai Telangana movement

Further information: Telangana movement

K. Chandra Shekhar Rao assumes the office of Labour and Employment Minister in New Delhi on 28 November 2004

On 27 April 2001, Rao resigned as Deputy Speaker, TDP Party as well.[12] He asserted that the people of the Telangana region were being discriminated and believed that a separate state is the only solution.[13] In April 2001, he formed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Party at Jala Drushyam, Hyderabad to achieve Telangana statehood.[12] In the elections of 2004, Rao won the Siddipet state assembly constituency and also the Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency, both as a TRS candidate. The TRS fought the 2004 general elections in alliance with the Indian National Congress with a Promise of Congress Party to give Telangana State and Rao was one of the five TRS candidates who was returned as MPs.[14][15]

TRS was part of the United Progressive Alliance coalition government, led by Congress. He went on to become a Union Cabinet minister of Labour and Employment in the United Progressive Alliance government at the centre with his party colleague Aelay Narendra who became minister of Rural Development and Jannu Jakaraiah as chairman for National Minimum Wages Advisory Board. The party later withdrew from the coalition, saying that the Alliance was not minded to support a separate Telangana state.[16] He has resigned as MP in 2006 on a challenge of Congress and won with a huge majority of more than 200,000 votes. Again he resigned as MP in agitation of Telangana movement and won with a minor majority.

In 2009, Rao fought and won the Mahbubnagar Lok Sabha elections. In November 2009, he started a fast-unto-death, demanding the introduction of Telangana Bill in the Indian Parliament. After 11 days of beginning his fast, the Central Government said yes to Telangana as a separate state.[17]

The TRS party fought the general elections as part of the opposition coalition led by TDP. In 2014, Rao was elected as MLA from Gajwel Assembly Constituency of Medak Dist of Telangana State with a majority of 19,218 and as MP from Medak with a majority of 397,029 on 16 May 2014.

In Telangana, the TRS, which led the campaign for a separate State for more than a decade, emerged victorious by winning 11 of the 17 Lok Sabha seats and 63 of the 119 Assembly seats, and emerged as the party with the largest vote share.[18]

Chief Minister of Telangana (2014–2023)

K. Chandrashekar Rao with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Hyderabad Metro in 2017

KCR was sworn in as the first chief minister of the Telangana state at 12:57 pm on 2 June 2014. Rao, a staunch believer in astrology, numerology and Vaastu, is reported to have fixed this time for his inauguration as per the advice of priests to suit his lucky number 'six'.[19][20][21] Rao was re-elected eight times as TRS president.[22] In September 2018, Rao dissolved the Telangana Legislative Assembly, nine months before its term ends to go for an early election.[23] In December 2018, Rao was re-elected as Chief Minister for the second term, after winning the 2018 Telangana Legislative Assembly election.[24]

KCR shaped the Telangana state to a high degree of development both economically and culturally, right from the formative years of the state since 2014. His welfare programs are aimed at reviving the rural economy and are focused on the development of each community. An intensive household survey, Samagra Kutumba Survey (SKS) was done in a single day on 19 August 2014 across the state to arrive at citizen information for rolling out welfare programs. The data collected pertaining to 94 parameters, covered one crore four lakh households in the State.[25]

KCR had revived the Telangana history, culture and festivals. The native festival Bathukamma, festival of flowers and Shakti was declared as state festival.[26] In 2017, he declared Urdu to be the second official language of Telangana.[27] The government spent Rs. 1,200 crore for the expansion of the Yadadri temple.[28]

The Rao government has been described as populist, launching several welfare schemes.[29][30][31][32]

Rao launched the Aarogya Lakshmi scheme on 1 January 2015.[33][34] He also launched the Double Bedroom Housing scheme, which aims to end slums in Telangana by providing free housing to the poor. The Kalyana Lakshmi - Shaadi Mubarak scheme, providing assistance to newlywed couples, Rythu Bandhu scheme, providing assistance to farmers,[32] and Aasara pension scheme, providing pensions to all senior citizens were also launched by the Rao government.[35][36] On August 16, 2021, he launched the Dalit Bandu Scheme.[37]

In 2023 elections, he contested from Gajwel and Kamareddy constituencies. He won Gajwel and lost Kamareddy.[38] As his party Bharat Rashtra Samithi was defeated by Indian National Congress led by Revanth Reddy, he submitted his resignation on 3 December 2023.[39]

National Politics

In May 2019, ahead of the 2019 Indian general election, KCR attempted to set up Federal Front along with leaders of other regional political parties. The Front's aim was to bring a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance to power at the Central Government of India.[40][41]

Bharat Rashtra Samithi

In June 2022, KCR announced to float a national party Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).[42] On 5 October 2022, at the day of Vijayadashami, KCR renamed his party to Bharat Rashtra Samithi on party's Executive Council Meeting.

Personal life

Rao is married to Shobha and has two children.[8] His son, K. T. Rama Rao is a legislator from Sircilla. He was the cabinet minister for IT, Municipal Administration & Urban Development in Telangana second assembly. His daughter, Kavitha, served as M.P. from Nizamabad and is currently serving as a Member of Legislative Council, Nizamabad. His nephew, Harish Rao, is MLA from Siddipet. He served as Telangana's cabinet minister for finance in second assembly of Telangana. Rao is proficient in Telugu, English, Urdu, and Hindi.[43] He lives with his family at his farm house at Erravelli in Medak district.

In 2015, Rao adopted Pratyusha, who was rescued from domestic violence. She got married in 2020.[44][45]

Views

Rao is a Gandhian. He has credited Mahatma Gandhi's ideology for inspiring him in his non-violent Telangana movement.[46][47]

Rao has described Rahul Gandhi as the "biggest buffoon in the country".[48] He has described Narendra Modi as the "most ineffective PM" in Indian history.[49]

Rao is follower of Sri Vaishnavism of Ramanuja, an ardent devotee of his guru Chinna Jeeyar and a strong believer of Hinduism and spirituality.[50][51][52] To heighten spiritual consciousness, KCR initiated the reconstruction and renovation of significant temples across Telangana, including Yadadri, Kondagattu, and Vemulawada, among others.[53][54][55][56]

Other work

Rao gave lyrics for the song "Garadi chesthundru" from the film Jai Bolo Telangana (2011), and wrote a song in Kolimi (2015).[57] He also gave lyrics for songs to promote Mission Kakatiya and for his 2018 poll campaign.[58][59]

Electoral performance

Year Contested For Constituency Opponent Votes Majority Result
1 1983 MLA Siddipet Ananthula Madan Mohan (INC) 27,889–28,766 – 887 Lost
2 1985 T. Mahender Reddy (INC) 45,215–29,059 16,156 Won
3 1989 Ananthula Madan Mohan (INC) 53,145–39,329 13,816 Won
4 1994 64,645–37,538 27,107 Won
5 1999 Mushinam Swamy Charan (INC) 69,169–41,614 27,555 Won
6 2001 By Polls Mareddy Srinivas Reddy (TDP) 82,632–23,920 58,712 Won
7 2004 Jilla Srinivas (TDP) 74,287–29,619 44,668 Won
8 2004 MP Karimnagar Chennamaneni Vidyasagara Rao (BJP) 451,199–320,031 131,168 Won
9 2006 By Polls T. Jeevan Reddy (INC) 378,030–176,448 201,582 Won
10 2008 By Polls 269,452–153,687 115,765 Won
11 2009 Mahabubnagar Devarakonda Vittal Rao (INC) 366,569–346,385 20,184 Won
12 2014 MLA Gajwel Pratap Reddy Vanteru (TDP) 86,694–67,303 19,391 Won
13 2014 MP Medak P. Shravan Kumar Reddy (INC) 657,492–260,463 397,029 Won
14 2018 MLA Gajwel Pratap Reddy Vanteru (INC) 125,444–67,154 58,290 Won
15 2023 MLA Kamareddy K Venkata Ramana Reddy (BJP) 59,911-66,652 -6,741 Lost
Gajwel Etela Rajender (BJP) 111,684-66,653 45,031 Won

Awards

References

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Preceded byPosition Established Chief Minister of Telangana 2 June 2014 – 3 December 2023 Succeeded byRevanth Reddy