A. Subbarayalu Reddiar

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Agaram Subbarayalu Reddiar
Chief Minister of Madras Presidency
In office
17 December 1920 – 11 July 1921
Governor Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Raja of Panagal
Personal details
Born 15 October 1855
Died November 1921 (age 66)
Nationality Indian
Political party Justice Party
Occupation legislator, Chief Minister
Profession lawyer
Religion Hindu

Diwan Bahadur Agaram Subbarayalu Reddiar[1] ( Telugu: అగరం సుబ్బరాయలు రెడ్డియార్, Tamil: அகரம் சுப்பராயலு ரெட்டியார்) (b. 15 October 1855 – d. November 1921) was a landlord, Justice Party leader and Chief Minister or Premier of Madras Presidency from 17 December 1920 to 11 July 1921.[2]

Subbarayalu Reddiar was born in a Reddiar family of South Arcot in 1855. He studied law in the West. On his return to India, Subbarayalu Reddiar involved himself in district politics of South Arcot and served as a district board president. Initially, he joined the Indian National Congress but left the party in 1916 to join the Justice Party. When the Justice Party was elected to power in the Madras Presidency in the first general elections in November 1920, Subbarayalu Reddiar was chosen as Chief Minister. Thus, Subbarayalu Reddiar is the first Chief Minister of Madras Presidency.

Subbarayalu Reddiar served as Chief Minister till 11 July 1921 when he resigned on grounds of health. He died soon afterwards.

Early life[edit]

Agaram Subbarayalu Reddiar was born in a Reddi family domiciled in South Arcot district of Madras Presidency on 15 October 1855.[3] His parents were well-to-do farmers. He studied in Presidency College, Chennai along with Theagaroya Chetty.[4] Later he studied law in the United Kingdom.

Early political career[edit]

Subbarayalu Reddiar served as the President of Cuddalore taluk Board in 1912. In 1917 he became the chair of South Arcot District Board. He later became the first Chief Minister of Madras Presidency, present-day state of Tamil Nadu.[5][6]

Chief Minister of Madras[edit]

At the end of November 1920, the first general elections were held to the Madras Legislative Assembly as per the Montford Reforms.[7] The Indian National Congress, a part of its policy during the Non-Cooperation Movement boycotted the elections.[7] As a result, the Justice Party swept to power winning 63 of the 98 Assembly seats to which elections were conducted.[7] Among the nominated members, it had a strength of 18 adding up to a total of 81 members in a chamber of 127.[7]

Following the success of the Justice Party in the 1920 elections, Lord Willingdon invited Sir Theagaroya Chetty to form the Government.[8] However, he passed on the mantle to Subbarayalu Reddiar.[9] Subbarayalu Reddiar assumed office as Chief Minister on 17 December 1920 and held the portfolios of education, public works, excise and registration in the new government.[9] The first session of the assembly was inaugurated by Duke of Connaught on 13 January 1921.[10] On 14 February 1921, three new Council Secretaries were appointed by the Justice party Government. However, Subbarayalu Reddiar resigned soon afterwards on grounds of health.[9]

Subbarayalu Reddiar's Cabinet
Portfolio Minister
Education, Excise and Public works A. Subbarayalu Reddiar (Also Chief Minister)
Local Self-Government Panaganti Ramarayaningar
Development Kurma Venkata Reddy Naidu
Source: Encyclopaedia of Political Parties


Subbarayalu Reddiar died in November 1921.[11][12][13]


  1. ^ Great Britain India Office, India Office (1921). The India Office and Burma Office List. Harrison. p. 77. 
  2. ^ "List of Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu". Government of Tamil Nadu. Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008. 
  3. ^ Justice Party Golden Jubilee Souvenir. 1968. p. 233. 
  4. ^ Rajaraman, P. (1988). The Justice Party: a historical perspective, 1916–37. Poompozhil Publishers. pp. chapter 5. OCLC 20453430. 
  5. ^ David Washbrook, Country Politics: Madras 1880 to 1930, Modern Asian studies, 7, 3 (1973) pp.(475–531), Great Britain
  6. ^ Rulers.org – Provinces of British India
  7. ^ a b c d Encyclopedia of Political Parties, Pg 180
  8. ^ Encyclopedia of Political Parties, Pg 181
  9. ^ a b c Encyclopedia of Political Parties, Pg 182
  10. ^ "Connaught well received in Madras – Famine in several districts causes concern" (PDF). The New York Times. 15 January 1921. 
  11. ^ Justice Party Golden Jubilee Souvenir. 1968. pp. xviii. 
  12. ^ Kudiarasu, Chidambaram (2006). Rational Land Revisited. Emerald Publishers. p. 84. ISBN 8179661768, ISBN 978-81-7966-176-5. 
  13. ^ Rajan, P. T.; K. Paramasivam (1973). Sir P. T. Rajan's Eighty Second Birthday Souvenir. p. 178. 


Preceded by
Post created
Chief Minister of Madras Presidency
17 December 1920 – 11 July 1921
Succeeded by
Raja of Panagal