Indian Politics & Elections Blog

Chandrababu Naidu

Naidu was born in Naravari Palle village of Chittoor district on April 20, 1950. His father, N. Kharjura Naidu, worked in agriculture and his mother Ammanamma was a housewife.  Naidu completed his BA in 1972, after which he enrolled in the MA (economics) course. In 1974, he started work on his PhD under the guidance of Professor D L Narayana, who was the then Andhra Pradesh State Finance Commission chairman. Naidu is married to N.T. Rama Rao’s second daughter Bhuvaneswari.

Naidu entered the political scene as a youth leader from Chandragiri and after that there was no looking back for him. . He became close to then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s son Sanjay Gandhi. Naidu got a Congress ticket in 1978 under the 20 per cent quota for youth from the Chandragiri Constituency. He was elected into the state assembly of Andhra Pradesh in 1978 a member of the Congress Party, and he became the Minister of Technical Education and Cinematography in T Anjaiah’s cabinet, making him the state’s youngest assembly member and youngest minister at the age of 28.

In early 1982, there were rumors that NTR was planning to plunge into politics by floating a regional political party. Nine months before the scheduled general elections, NTR floated a regional party Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and was said to have invited Naidu to join the party, but Naidu stuck to the Congress party and contested again from Chandragiri constituency against a rival TDP candidate Venkatarama Naidu. The TDP swept the polls, and won by a huge majority. It was the first time Indian National Congress was defeated in the State after Independence. In the 1989 Assembly Elections, Chandrababu Naidu contested from his native constituency Kuppam and won with a slender majority of 5,000-odd votes. But as the Congress had regained power in the state elections, Naidu had to sit in the Opposition. 1994, the TDP regained power following an anti-Congress wave triggered by an anti-liquor agitation and a strong anti-incumbency factor. Naidu became the Finance and Revenue minister in NTR’s cabinet.

As chief minister, Chandrababu Naidu, had called for short-term sacrifices to turn Andhra Pradesh into an Asian tiger over the next 20 years. Naidu soon slashed subsidies for – among other things – food, and he raised power tariffs.

The Telugu Desam Party led by Chandrababu Naidu failed to come into the power after two successive wins, winning as low as 47/294 constituencies in the state assembly and 5/42 in the Lok Sabha segment. While many of his ministers lost, Naidu himself won by a huge margin in Kuppam.

He was voted as the ‘IT Indian of the Millennium’ in a poll conducted by India Today group and 20:20 Media. Naidu was the West’s favourite Indian. Tony Blair and Bill Clinton both visited him in Hyderabad, the state capital. The governor of Illinois created a Naidu Day in his honour.ss


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