Telangana, a state located in southern India, has been home to several influential politicians who have played significant roles in shaping the region’s political landscape and contributing to the nation’s development. From visionary leaders like P.V. Narasimha Rao to the current Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), these individuals have left a lasting impact on Telangana’s history. P.V. Narasimha Rao, the first Prime Minister from Telangana, implemented bold economic reforms during his tenure, while Sarojini Naidu, the Nightingale of India, fought for civil rights and women’s emancipation. Zakir Hussain, the Third President of India, championed democracy, secularism, and social harmony. Marri Chenna Reddy, Jalagam Venkat Rao, Tanguturi Anjaiah, and Burgula Ramakrishna Rao also contributed significantly to the state’s politics, governance, and cultural preservation. Lastly, Bandaru Dattatreya, known for his simplicity and down-to-earth nature, has served as a prominent BJP leader from the region. Together, these top nine politicians from Telangana have left an indelible mark on the state’s history, demonstrating their dedication to public service, social progress, and the welfare of the people.
1. P. V. Narasimha Rao – Warangal
Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao, commonly known as P.V. Narasimha Rao, was an influential Indian politician and statesman who served as the Ninth Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. He was born on June 28, 1921, in the village of Laknepalli, currently in the state of Telangana, India. Rao held various positions within the Congress party, including serving as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from 1971. His term as Prime Minister of India demonstrated remarkable leadership during a challenging period, leaving a lasting impact on India’s economy and governance. His contributions have earned him respect as a statesman and one of the key architects of modern India’s economic transformation. He was the First Prime Minister from Telangana and South India.
2. Sarojini Naidu – Hyderabad
Sarojini Naidu was an Indian political activist and poet. She was born on February 13, 1879, in Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, India, and died on March 2, 1949, in Lucknow, United Provinces, India. Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the president of the Indian National Congress and to be appointed as the governor of Uttar Pradesh. Naidu became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and his idea of swaraj (self-rule). Naidu was a proponent of civil rights, women’s emancipation, and anti-imperialism. She played an important role in the Indian independence movement against British rule. Naidu’s contributions to India’s independence movement and her literary achievements have made her an important figure in Indian history.
3. Zakir Hussain – Hyderabad
Zakir Hussain, born on February 8, 1897, in Hyderabad, India, was a prominent figure in the country’s political landscape. Zakir Hussain’s involvement in politics further highlighted his exceptional leadership abilities. He served as the Governor of Bihar and later became the Third President of India, a testament to his astute political acumen and integrity. As President, he worked tirelessly to uphold the principles of democracy, secularism, and social harmony, firmly believing in the strength of a united and diverse nation. His visionary leadership, compassion, and commitment to the betterment of society continue to inspire generations, making him a revered figure in the annals of Indian politics.
4. Marri Chenna Reddy – Hyderabad
He was the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from 1978 to 1980 and from 1989 to 1990. He also served as the governor of Uttar Pradesh (1974–1977), governor of Punjab (1982–1983), governor of Rajasthan from February 1992 to May 1993, and governor of Tamil Nadu from 1993 until his death. Marri Channa Reddy was born on 13 January 1919 in Siripuram village Hyderabad. Marri Chenna Reddy stood against the integration of Telangana with Andhra State and played a significant role as one of the four signatories to the Gentleman’s Agreement, which led to the formation of the state of Andhra Pradesh. He attained positions of authority on his own conditions, and likewise, lost them for identical reasons.
5. Jalagam Venkat Rao – Khammam
Jalagam Venkat Rao, born in Bayyannagudem in Khammam district, Telangana, India, is a prominent political figure known for his significant contributions to the state’s politics. Rao has played various important roles throughout his career. He served as the 5th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from 10 December 1973 to 6 March 1978. During his tenure, he took remarkable initiatives such as establishing three universities, namely Kakatiya University, Acharya Nagarjuna University, and Sri Krishnadevaraya University, to cater to the diverse regions of Telangana, Coastal Andhra, and Rayalaseema. Additionally, Rao initiated the World Telugu Conference in Hyderabad in 1975, highlighting his commitment to promoting the Telugu language and culture. Known for his astute political acumen and dedication to public service, he has emerged as a trusted voice in Andhra Pradesh’s political landscape, prioritizing the rights of the common man and striving for overall development.
6. Tanguturi Anjaih – Medak
T. Anjaiah, also known as Tanguturi Anjaiah, was an Indian politician who served as the 7th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh from October 1980 to February 1982. He was born on August 16, 1919, and rose from being a worker at Hyderabad Allwyn Limited to a trade union leader and later Union Labour Minister. Anjaiah faced many adversities in his early life, which made him a fighter for social justice. During his term as Chief Minister, he formed a large state ministry known as the “Airbus cabinet,” which was criticized for patronage and eventually had to be reduced. He made notable contributions such as conducting elections for Panchayati Raj bodies and reducing the voting age to 18.
7. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao – Hyderabad
Burgula Ramakrishna Rao (1899-1967) was an influential Indian politician and scholar. He served as the second and last Chief Minister of Hyderabad State before India’s independence and the integration of princely states. Known for his resistance against the Nizam of Hyderabad, Rao was a prominent Telugu-speaking leader. Rao played a significant role in the formation of the Hyderabad State Congress and actively participated in various public movements. As a member of the Vellodi government, he served as the Revenue Minister and later became the first Chief Minister of Hyderabad after the termination of Nizam’s rule. Rao’s administrative skills contributed to the establishment of a stable democratic system, and he played a pivotal role in implementing land reforms in Telangana. He went on to serve as the Governor of Kerala and Uttar Pradesh and was also a member of the Rajya Sabha.
8. Kalvakuntla Chadrashekar Rao – Siddipet
K. Chandrashekar Rao, often referred to as KCR is an Indian politician who is the first and current Chief Minister of Telangana. KCR was born on 17 February 1954 in Chintamadaka village near Siddipet, Telangana. In 2001, KCR resigned from the TDP and formed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) with the aim of achieving statehood for Telangana. KCR has been instrumental in shaping the development of Telangana since its formation. He played a crucial role in the Telangana movement and fought for separate statehood. He launched schemes such as Aarogya Lakshmi and Double Bedroom Housing to uplift the underprivileged sections of society. KCR has also taken initiatives to revive Telangana’s history, culture, and festivals.
9. Bandaru Dattatreya – Hyderabad
Bandaru Dattatreya is an Indian politician who currently serves as the Governor of the State of Haryana since 2021. Prior to his appointment as governor, he served as the 20th Governor of Himachal Pradesh and was a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha for the Secunderabad constituency from 2014 to 2019. Dattatreya is known for his non-controversial and acceptable image within the BJP. He is regarded as a simple and soft-spoken leader with a down-to-earth nature. He became the lone minister from Telangana in the central government.