Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday reiterated his demand to grant former Indian Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, adding that he would lead a delegation to New Delhi to meet with PM Narendra Modi on the issue.
KCR addressed a gathering at ‘PV Gnana Bhoomi’, located on Hyderabad’s Necklace Road, to commemorate the 99th birth anniversary of the former PM.
Praising Rao for the economic reforms he introduced, KCR said, “He always took bold steps. His reforms with regard to land rights and education are well-known and generations have benefitted from the decisions he took regarding India’s economy.”
Stating that he would personally lead a delegation to meet PM Modi, KCR said that he would also request the Centre to rename the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) after PV Narasimha Rao.
“We will also re-print the books and other works that PV wrote besides making sure that unpublished works also are made accessible to the public,” he added.
The Chief Minister said that a research centre would also be established in Kakatiya University to study the work done by Rao and a proposal would be put forward to rename a Telugu university after him.
Besides a grand memorial at ‘Gnana Bhoomi’ where he was cremated – on the lines of one developed for former President APJ Abdul Kalam in Rameswaram – five statues of PV Narasimha Rao will be erected in Hyderabad, at Telangana Bhavan in Delhi, Karimnagar, Warangal and the former PM’s native village of Vangara, KCR said.
The Chief Minister also called Rao “a son of Telangana soil” and a “360 degree personality”.
Stating that a portrait of PV Narasimha Rao would be placed in the Legislature, KCR added that the Assembly would also pass a resolution demanding Bharat Ratna for the late leader.
The Telangana government has planned a series of programmes in Rao’s honour over the course of the next one year, which will culminate in a grand event in Hyderabad on June 28, 2021.
Meanwhile, tributes poured in for Rao from across the country on his 99th birth anniversary on Sunday.
PM Modi described Rao as “one of India’s most experienced leaders”. Addressing the nation during his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio programme, Modi said, “PV Narasimha Rao connected with India’s ethos and well-versed with western thoughts. Interested in history, literature and science. One of India’s most experienced leaders.”
Born on this day in 1921 in present-day Telangana, Rao was the Prime Minister from June 21, 1991 to May 16, 1996.
Paying tributes to the former Prime Minister, the Congress party tweeted: “We honour PV Narsimha Rao, a visionary leader who oversaw major economic transformations of the Indian economy. His contributions to the nation shall never be forgotten.”
During the last few years before he died in 2004, his relations with the Congress went downhill after Sonia Gandhi took over as party president and he was eventually sidelined.