Senior Congress leader and former minister of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, M Sathyanarayana Rao passed away in the early hours of Monday while undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the Nizam Institute Of Medical Sciences in the city of Hyderabad.
Meneni Sathyanarayana Rao was third among six children of Cheeti Hanumantha Rao and Cheeti Yashodha. He was named as Cheeti Seetharama Rao. He was born on 14th January 1934 in Vedhira village, Ramadugu mandal in Karimnagar district. He has one elder brother, one elder sister, two younger brothers and two younger sisters.
His elder brother Cheeti Babu Rao worked as ASP Karimnagar. His younger brother Cheeti Ayodhyarama Rao is the founder of an educational society named Vaninikethan and the other younger brother was late Cheeti Kishan Rao.His elder sister is late Ramanamma and his younger sisters are Savithri and Pushpalatha.
He was adopted by Meneni Hanumanth Rao and Meneni Mangamma of Narayanapur village,Gangadhara mandal, Karimnagar district and he was named as Meneni Sathyanarayana Rao.He was married at age of 19 in the year 1953 to Chennamaneni Suguna. He has four children among two daughters and two sons.
Meneni Sathyanarayana Rao started his education in a village where there was no scope for at least a government school. Few families in the village allotted a special teacher for the children in the village and MSR continued his education till his 3rd standard at the same place in his native village. In his 4th standard, he left his native village and moved to Karimnagar and continued his education in Ganj High School and in his 5th standard he moved to Mission High school and studied till his 6th standard and then in his 7th standard he moved to Markji Upper primary school and he joined Government High School and studied till 10th standard.
For his Intermediate he went to Hyderabad and joined Viveka Vardhini college and he stayed in Reddy hostel while pursuing his intermediate education along with Uppunoothula Purshotham Reddy. He also studied his B.A in the same college.
He studied Ll. B from Osmania University and while studying for his Ll. B he worked as an editor of a college youth magazine. He used to stay with Nadhendla Bhasker Rao, Uppunoothula Purshotham Reddy and Palvayi Goverdhan Reddy.
Meneni Sathyanarayana Rao worked as an advocate in Karimnagar District court for few years while he was working for the youth Congress. He helped his colleague Meneni Hanumanth Rao with his cases. He also worked for High Court and Supreme Court.
Meneni Sathyanarayana Rao started his political career at Osmania University where he worked for National Student Union India(NSUI) from 1954 to 1969. He also worked as Youth Congress President Karimnagar District. From the year 1969 to 1971, he struggled for separation of Telangana State. In 1971 he stepped into the Lok Sabha as Member of Parliament from Karimnagar. He was a Member of Parliament for 14 years. Between1977-1979 he worked as panel speaker Lok Sabha. In the period of Indira Gandhi from 1980 to 1983, he was All India Congress Committee(AICC) General Secretary. From 1985 to 1988 he worked as a senior counsel in the supreme court. He also worked for Public Accounts Committee, Estimates Committee, Subordinate Legislative Committee, House Committee, Complaints Committee.
In the period from 1980 to 1999, he was president for Indo-Arab Friendship Association, Indo-African Friendship Association. In 1986, he led the Indian team in New York. He was also RTC Chairman from 1990 to 1994. He worked as Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president for 2000 to 2004. He was a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 2004 to 2009. He worked for ministries of Endowment, Cinematography, Sports and Cultural from 2004 to 2007 and from 2007 December to 2014.
Forerunner of the Telangana Agitation for Separate Statehood
From 1969-1971 he worked for the separation of Telangana state along with Singireddy Venkatrami Reddy, Vandhemathram Ramchandra Rao. MSR joined Telangana Praja Samithi Party (T.P.S) established by Marri Chenna Reddy and contested as Member of Parliament from Karimnagar seat. In the year 1971 MSR won as Member of Parliament (MP) with a huge majority. Indira Gandhi was shocked by the results of TPS and targeted all the members of the TPS. Due to some issues, Indira Gandhi filed a PD Act case against MSR and Palvayi Govardhan Reddy and they were arrested and put into jail for 6 months-3 months in Warangal jail and 3 months in Chanchalguda jail but even they didn't step back for what they are doing.
To put an end to all these issues KC Panth was involved and mediated between Indira Gandhi and TPS leaders. TPS leaders were asked then to join into Congress party and serve the nation together.
Member of Parliament:
5th Lok Sabha (1971-1977)
During this phase, he wholeheartedly struggled for the separation of the Telangana state and the development of the Telangana region. Indira Gandhi was prime minister of India, Dr Kasu Brahmanadha Reddy was Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh State at that point in time. MSR also told that the Telangana Agitation was not started by frustrated politicians and that it was started by students way back in 1969. And he told that no steps are taken to solve this problem. Due to the negligence of the state and central government, many students lost their lives. MSR questioned Indira Gandhi that as the daughter of Nehru why was she not able to solve this problem. Not only regarding this he also fought for the railway line in 9 Telangana Districts as many industries started in Nizamabad region for exporting and importing goods which needed train facility. In this period the president rule was announced due to some circumstances. And he fought for food in some regions where there was a lack of food due to the Emergency. Indira Gandhi refused to yield and said that the Government will not give Telangana state but she gave some safeguards for the development of the Telangana region.
6th Lok Sabha (1977-1979)
In this session, he struggled for the development of the State. He struggled for Railway lines in many backward regions during his debates about this issue with Railway Minister Sujith Singh Barnaladuring the period when the prime minister of India was Morarji Desai. MSR also struggled for food in regions where there is no proper agriculture. He also fought to bring N.T.P.C thermal power station to the state. He also told that his last agenda for the session is that the development of backward regions in his state. In the Phalguna session, he also spoke about importing and exporting goods from other countries. In the year 1979 by-elections were conducted by the government.
7th Lok Sabha (1980-1984)
In these sessions, M.S.R struggled for Electricity in our state. He also spoke about importing and exporting goods from other countries. This was when the prime minister was Charan Singh. He worked hard for the development of the State during these session, fighting for the rights of the Telangana State.
AICC General secretary (1980-1983)
In Indira Gandhi’s period, he worked for the AICC. He was in charge for 6 states (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep). Along with him Sanjay Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi were also in charges of some states. He used to help Indira Gandhi in building and strengthening the party. He grew close to Indira Gandhi’s family. While he was working as AICC general secretary his cabin would be opposite Indira Gandhi's room. Digvijay Singh and many senior leaders of other states where he was in charge of, respected him for his politicalpolictical acumen and experience.
He worked as R.T.C chairman for two terms between 1990-1994 and 2007-2014.
Andhra Pradesh P.C.C President
M.S.R struggled a lot to strengthen the Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh. He declared Late YS Rajashekar Reddy as Chief Minister candidate from the state despite many people opposing and he planned a “Padayatra” at that point of time for YSR and supported it. Many leaders told that with the support of M.S.R the party would win not just this elections, but also the coming two terms.
Cabinet Minister of Andhra Pradesh State
He was elected as Member of Legislative Assembly and was given a ministry in YSR's cabinet as Endowment minister. After a certain period of time, he was not happy with that ministry he resigned and was then given Cinematography, Sports and Cultural ministry.
His Service to Congress Party
A senior most leader he served the Congress party from Jawahar Lal Nehru’s period to the present Rahul Gandhi’s period. After Indira Gandhi's death, he took the initiative to bring Rajiv Gandhi to the fore and asked him to take over the position of Indira Gandhi. And he also took the initiative role to bring Sonia Gandhi to politics and made her the AICC president.
M.S.R was a man who was very straightforward in nature and was outspoken too. He held his head high and worked as a dedicated leader and worker for Congress without bowing his head to anyone. He was a mentor for many youth leaders like Ponnam Prabaker, Arapelly Mohan and many other budding leaders, MLAs and MPs.
M.S.R also produced a movie named Chivariki Migiledhi Adhi along with his close friend Uppunoothula Purshotham Reddy and also acted in a movie named Sathyameva Jayathe.