Jalagam Vengala Rao

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Jalagam Vengal Rao
జలగం వెంగళరావు
5th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
In office
10 December 1973 – 6 March 1978
Preceded byP. V. Narasimha Rao (before President's rule)
Succeeded byMarri Chenna Reddy
Personal details
BornMay 1921
Bayyannagudem, Khammam district, Telangana
Died12 June 1999 (aged 78)
ChildrenJalagam Prasada Rao,
Jalagam Venkat Rao

Jalagam Vengal Rao or Jalagam Vengala Rao (May 1921[citation needed] – 12 June 1999) was for much of his life a member of the Indian National Congress and was the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh which is now divided into two states Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Early life[edit]

Rao hailed from Bayyannagudem in Khammam district[1] (currently part of the Telangana state).


His involvement in politics began when he was in his twenties, when he supported Congress in their campaign of armed defiance against the Nizam of Hyderabad. He was jailed for his involvement in this campaign, which was protesting the tenancy laws operating in the Telangana region. Although he tried and failed to be elected as an independent candidate in 1952, Rao subsequently was elected on four occasions to the Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh, where he represented the Sathupalli constituency of Khammam district.

Lok Sabha[edit]

He was also twice elected to the Lok Sabha - the lower house of the Parliament of India - as a representative of the Khammam district constituency. The first of his successful Assembly elections was in 1962, and the period from 1952 to that time saw him occupying the post of president for the Khammam district branch of Congress and being the first chairman of the district council.[2]

As Home Minister[edit]

In 1968, he became State Home Minister in the state government headed by Kasu Brahmananda Reddy. Later, during his period as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, an office to which he was appointed by Indira Gandhi[3] and held between 10 December 1973 and 6 March 1978,[4] Rao's hallmark was his administrative efficiency.[2] He is also known for his handling and containment of Naxalite insurgency, which took place during a revival of the Telangana movement that sought independent statehood.[5] He replaced local officers with officers from far away districts so that a nexus between the Naxalites and the police could not be formed. He also introduced rehabilitation measures for the families of slain Naxalites so that they could lead an honourable life and not resort to the path of their forebears. He almost wiped out Naxalism from the state. He improved the lot of the tribals to ensure there were no fresh additions to the cadres.[citation needed] Later, the Vimadlal commission was appointed to probe into attacks on Naxalites during his period in office[citation needed] and his earlier actions against Communist-inspired Naxalites during the 1960s have been referred to as a "reign of terror".[5] The official website for the government of Andhra Pradesh refers to his Chief Ministership, which came about following a period of President's rule, as a "popular ministry ... With this, normalcy returned and the State enjoyed political stability".[6] Despite that popularity, he was unable to retain power in the 1978 elections.[7]

Congress split[edit]

When Congress split during the mid-1970s, Rao initially did not join with the faction led by Indira Gandhi that was referred to as Congress (I). However, he did join in 1984 and with his election to the Lok Sabha in that year he served in the cabinet of Rajiv Gandhi, holding the post of Union Minister for Industry until 1989. For much of this period, between 1984 and 1988, he was also president of the state organisation of his political party, being the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee.[2]

As Chief Minister[edit]

He was the 5th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from 10 December 1973 – 6 March 1978. It was during his tenure as Chief Minister that three universities namely Kakatiya University, Acharya Nagarjuna University and Sri Krishnadevaraya University were started, catering for three regions of Andhra Pradesh: Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema.[citation needed] Rao initiated a World Telugu Conference in Hyderabad in 1975.[8]


Jalagam Vengal Rao died on 12 June 1999.[2]


He has two sons, Jalagam Prasada Rao and Jalagam Venkat Rao. Jalagam Prasada Rao was a Member of the Legislative Assembly from Satthupalli constituency for two terms and he was a minister in N. Janardhan Reddy's cabinet. He held the portfolios of Small scale industries and Panchayat Raj.[9][10] Jalagam Venkat Rao, is also a politician and as of 2009 was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh, representing the INC for the same constituency, Satthupalli, as his father.[11][12]


Rao wrote an autobiography in the Telugu language, called Naa Jeevitha Katha. The contents caused some controversy with regard to the lives of other politicians.[13][14] A part of it was published in English translation by Outlook magazine.[15]

A park in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad was named after him as Jalagam Vengal Rao Park.[16] There is also an upscale residential neighbourhood named after him – Vengal Rao Nagar - and several educational institutions.


  1. ^ Bhaskar, B. V. S. (7 September 2002). "Sathupally to be model assembly constituency". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Andhra ex-CM Vengala Rao dies at 78". Rediff.com. UNI. 12 June 1999. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  3. ^ Reddi, Agarala Easwara (1994). State politics in India: reflections on Andhra Pradesh. M.D. Publications. p. 25. ISBN 9788185880518. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Chief Ministers: Sri. Jalagam Vengala Rao". Government of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b Guruswamy, Mohan (11 December 2009). "Telangana Part II". DNA. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Post-Independence Era : Struggle for Andhra State". Government of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Naidu becomes fourth AP CM to return his party to power". Rediff.com. 7 October 1999. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  8. ^ Prasad, R.J. Rajendra (22 June 2001). "Bitter memories". 18 (12). Frontline. Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Tummala Nageswara Rao in for a grim battle". The Hindu. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  10. ^ "Jalagam to join hands with Jagan". Times of India. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
  11. ^ "Jalagam Vengala Rao remembered". The Hindu. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  12. ^ "MLAs". Government of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  13. ^ Sivanand, S. (11 September 1996). "Skeletons In The Closet: Erstwhile Andhra Pradesh chief minister Vengala Rao's memoirs rake up Narasimha Rao's past". Outlook. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Hey Ram!". The Times of India. TNN. 25 March 2001. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  15. ^ "'Pv's Affair Upset Indira': Extracts from Jalagam Vengala Rao's autobiography". Outlook. 11 September 1996. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  16. ^ "Birth anniversary of Jalagam celebrated". The Hindu. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ravichandrababu, G. (1995). Sri Jalagam Vengal Rao: a political study. Anna Centre for Public Affairs, University of Madras.
  • Vimadalal, Jal Rustamji (1978). Report: Vimadalal Commission of Inquiry. The Vimadalal Commission.