Former Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Rama Mohana Rao was appointed as political advisor to Jana Sena founder Pawan Kalyan on Monday. He was appointed by Pawan Kalyan at the party office in Vijayawada. Hailing from Ongole in Andhra’s Prakasam district, Rama Mohan Rao called actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan “the hope of Andhra Pradesh”.
Speaking to TNM, Rama Mohana Rao said, “Pawan Kalyan has asked me to join as a political advisor and advise him and the party and guide him towards victory.” Belonging to the 1985 Tamil Nadu IAS batch, Rao spent 32 years of service in Tamil Nadu under various capacities including as Secretary to then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa from 2011 to 2016. He went on to be appointed as Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu in June 2016 until he was removed from the post in December 2016 following Income Tax raids to his residence and office.
“Jayalalithaa taught me that a politician’s heart should be with people. I think Pawan Kalyan is the same. Though he is a star, he is a people’s man,” said Rao, adding, “I will be with Pawan like how I served madam.”
Elaborating on why this new innings, Rao said, “I see Jayalalithaa’s qualities in Pawan. Though he is a star and entering electoral politics only now, he has been with the people. People's welfare should be at the top. He is highly spiritual, his concerns for people is genuine.”
According to sources in Jana Sena, Rama Mohana Rao has been advising Pawan Kalyan for some time now. However, he formally joined as advisor on Monday.
In a press release, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan stated that Rao had “effectively run the AIADMK government without any hassle when the then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was in hospital. It was showing his capacity and capability.” He also added, “I believe his extensive experiences will help the party get directions in the political affairs, formation of public policies and also in the electioneering. I will take his advices and suggestions to the people and create golden future for the state of Andhra Pradesh.”
In December 2016, just weeks after Jayalalithaa’s demise, Income Tax officials carried out raids on several properties belonging to Rao and his relatives. The raids had sent shockwaves across the state as Rao was the then Chief Secretary of the state. IT sleuths had reportedly carried out the raids after Rao’s name had come up following the questioning of businessman and former member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Board, Shekar Reddy. He was then removed from the top post and was months later posted as Director of the Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Chennai until his retirement in 2017. Rama Mohana Rao had termed these raids as part of vendetta by the central government against those who had been close to Jayalalithaa.