Indian National Congress

P.V. Narasimha Rao

President: 1921-2004 (Tirupati, 1992)

A leader from Andhra Pradesh, Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao, was associated with the Congress party for over five decades. As a student leader, he had organised Satyagrahas against the British in many parts of Andhra and courted arrests. A science and law student of Osmania University, P. V. Narasimha Rao could also write and speak in many Indian and foreign languages.

He was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from 1971 to 1973. He served as Union Cabinet Minister holding various portfolios from 1984 to 1996. He also served a full term as Prime Minister of India from 1991-96 while simultaneously carrying out his duties as Minister of External Affairs and then as Minister of Defence. He is credited for liberalising the Indian economy through the appointment of eminent economist Dr Manmohan Singh, as Minister of Finance. He also presided over the Indian National Congress Session at Tirupati, in 1992.

He is credited with crafting India's post-Cold War diplomacy and economic reforms. The reforms opening up to foreign investment, reforming capital markets,deregulating domestic business, and reforming the trade regime. Shri Rao's government's goals were reducing the fiscal deficit, privatization of the public sector and increasing investment in public infrastructure. Trade reforms and changes in the regulation of Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) were introduced to open India to foreign trade while stabilising external loans.

Shri Rao also energised the national nuclear security and ballistic missiles program, that ultimately resulted in the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests.