Former PM PV Narsimha Rao to be conferred Bharat Ratna: PM Modi

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New Delhi: Former Prime Minister and veteran leader of Congress, Late P V Narsimha Rao will be conferred with the country’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday.
Taking to X, PM Modi said that as a distinguished scholar and statesman, Narasimha Rao served India extensively in various capacities.

“Delighted to share that our former Prime Minister, PV Narasimha Rao Garu, will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna. As a distinguished scholar and statesman, Narasimha Rao Garu served India extensively in various capacities. He is equally remembered for the work he did as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister, and as a Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly for many years. His visionary leadership was instrumental in making India economically advanced, laying a solid foundation for the country’s prosperity and growth,” the PM said.

“Narasimha Rao Garu’s tenure as Prime Minister was marked by significant measures that opened India to global markets, fostering a new era of economic development. Furthermore, his contributions to India’s foreign policy, language and education sectors underscore his multifaceted legacy as a leader who not only steered India through critical transformations but also enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage,” he added.

Born on June 28, 1921, in Karimnagar, Telangana, being an agriculturist and an advocate, Narsimha Rao joined politics and held some important portfolios. He was the Minister of Law and Information, 1962-64; Law and Endowments, 1964-67; Health and Medicine, 1967 and Education, 1968-71, Government of Andhra Pradesh. He was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from 1971-73 and General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee from 1975-76.

A man of many interests, his special interest was in Indian philosophy and culture, writing fiction and political commentary, learning languages, writing poems in Telugu and Hindi and keeping abreast of literature in general. He successfully published ‘SahasraPhan’, a Hindi translation of late Shri Viswanatha Satyanarayana’s famous Telegu Novel ‘Veyi Padagalu’; ‘Abala Jeevitam’, Telugu translation of late Shri Hari Narayan Apte’s famous Marathi Novel, “Pan Lakshat Kon gheto”. He translated other famous works from Marathi to Telugu and from Telugu to Hindi, and published many articles in different magazines. He lectured at Universities in the U.S.A. and West Germany on political matters and allied subjects.

During the period when he was Minister of External Affairs, Rao successfully brought to bear his scholarly background and rich political and administrative experience in the field of international diplomacy. He chaired the III Conference of UNIDO at New Delhi in January 1980, within a few days of assuming charge. He also chaired a meeting of the Group of 77 in New York in March 1980.

Narsimha Rao was also the Leader of the Special Non-aligned Mission that visited countries in West Asia in November 1983, to resolve the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. He was associated actively with the Commonwealth Heads of Government in New Delhi and with the Action Group set up by the meeting on the question of Cyprus.

He is credited with bringing many economic reforms in the country, particularly for dismantling the License Raj in the country. It was during Rao’s term that he appointed Manmohan Singh as the Finance Minister, who ushered in a series of economic reforms to lift the country from a worsening economic crisis.
Rao was a six-time MP and died at the age of 83 in 2004.

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