(1913 - 1996)
President - Bangalore, 1960; Bhavnagar, 1961; Patna, 1962.
one of the foremost political leaders from Andhra Pradesh, was born on May
19, 1913 in the Anantapur district. He came from a respectable and
well-to-do family. He had his early education at Adyar, Madras and then at
the Arts College at Anantapur. While still in college he gave up his studies
to participate in the freedom struggle launched by Mahatma Gandhi. He first
took part in the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1931. Within a few years he
came into prominence as an influential peasant leader. He participated in
various struggles against the British and was imprisoned several times.
Sanjeeva Reddy took an active part in the Quit India Movement. In 1946
Sanjeeva Reddy was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly and later on
he became the Secretary of the Congress Legislature Party in Madras. He was
also elected to the Constituent Assembly in India.
Sanjeeva Reddy held various important positions in the Congress and became a
member of the Andhra Provincial Congress Committee. He was in the Congress
Working Committee and of the Central Parliamentary Board. He was elected to
the Rajya Sabha in 1952 and served as a member for a little over a year.
When the Andhra Province was separated from Madras and T. Prakasam became
the Chief Minister of Andhra, Sanjeeva Reddy was appointed Deputy Chief
Minister. When the new Andhra Pradesh was constituted Sanjeeva Reddy became
its first Chief Minister and served in that capacity from November 1956 to
December 1959. In December 1959 he was elected President of the Indian
National Congress and he continued in that office till May 1962. He again
became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1962 for one year. Later he
was appointed to the Central Cabinet.
Sanjeeva was speaker of the Lok Sabha from 1967 to 1969. He then contested
for the office of the President as the official Congress candidate as
against V. V. Giri who was then the Vice-President. The Presidential contest
proved to be of momentous significance in the history of the Congress,
resulting in the split of the Congress with an overwhelming section siding
with Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who had rebelled against the old guard, headed by
Mr. Nijalingappa, which came to be known as the Congress (O). Thus the
Congress came to be divided into the Congress (O) and Congress (R) parties.
The President election went in favour of Mr. V. V. Giri.
The, split in the Congress gradually widened. In the 1971 mid-term election,
the Congress (R) had a landslide victory and the Congress (O) was reduced to
a party of little significance. After the defeat of the Congress (R) in the
Lok Sabha elections of 1977, Sanjeeva Reddy was elected at the instance of
the Janata Party as the President of the Republic. In 1981 he retired.
- Sarojini Regani
The Congress has not only to discharge the governmental functions but has
also other responsibilities. There is plenty of constructive and
nation-building work which Congressmen have to attend to apart from the
dissemination of Congress ideology. The Congress ideology has been built up
through the eventful decades of our recent history and contain the best
answer to all the challenges of democracy. If this ideology is not
effectively propagated wrong ideas and wrong approaches will take its place
exposing the country as also out infant democracy to new dangers. Among the
steps we should take to restorate an effective measures of discipline in the
Congress is the incalculation in Congressmen of a fresh sense of mission so
that the practical tasks that await them are tackled with vigour. The coming
elections also enforce the need to close up our ranks so that the people are
able to concentrate on what we stand for, on our objectives and are not
diverted by our petty internal differences.
From the Presidential Address- N. Sanjeeva Reddy
I.N.C. Session, 1961, Bhavnagar.