I was born on 1st July, 1949 in Chavatapalem, a remote village in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. My parents, Late Shri Rangaiah Naidu and Smt. Ramanamma were agriculturists. After graduating from V.R College, Nellore, obtained the law degree from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. I married Smt. Usha on 14th April, 1971 and we are blessed with a daughter and a son.
Right from my college days, I was deeply interested in the welfare of the common man, particularly the farmers and the down trodden sections of the society. This led to my active involvement in the political and social activities at a relatively young age. I was immensely inspired by the selfless sacrifice and the principled politics of the leaders who had fought during the freedom struggle and also those who had valiantly opposed the emergency.
Both as a student leader and in public life gained prominence as a brilliant orator, who vigorously championed the cause of the farmers, rural people and development of the backward areas. I vociferously fought against forces of oppression and corruption, which were threatening the vitals of democracy. I was imprisoned for several months during the dark days of emergency, for having fought for preservation of fundamental rights and freedom of the countrymen. Besides being an avid reader, I published several articles on subjects of public and political interest, democratic decentralization and on other important issues of national concern. As President of the BJP, Andhra Pradesh, exhorted the party to adopt the slogan Back to Villages, and built the party at the grassroots level in the rural parts of the state. As a state level and as a national leader of the party, I extensively toured all over the country, particularly the rural and semi-urban areas, to develop the cadre and mass base of the party.
I had the opportunity to serve the country on becoming the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development. During my tenure I had chalked out a three-pronged strategy to ‘change the face of rural India’. I proposed to put up signboards in every village detailing local development schemes, this allowed the people to be aware of what they are entitled to. I also set up 14 lakh women’s self-help groups by 2004. During my tenure, came out with a radical proposal to divest the government’s stakes in PSUs and invest the proceeds in rural development.
As a President of Bharatiya Janata Party, I further strengthened the Party, both at state and national levels.