When Neelam Sanjiva Reddy became president?

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (25 July 1977 – 25 July 1982)

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was the sixth President of India. He held the office from 1977 to 1982. He was a veteran statesman and administrator. He was also the first to be elected unopposed. Reddy was 64 when he was elected as the youngest President of India. He proved his humbleness through two notable gestures; one was renouncing the residency at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and the other was to allow a 70 per cent cut in his salary, considering the poor economic condition of the nation in 1977.

Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was born in a peasant family at Illuri village in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh on 19th May 1913. Sanjiva Reddy had his early education at the Theosophical High School at Adyar in Madras. Even though he joined the Arts College at Anantapur for graduation, young Reddy gave up studies to take part in the freedom movement. He was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi. In 1931 he joined the Indian National Congress. He participated in a student satyagraha, which brought him into the limelight. He was jailed for participating in the Quit India Movement.

After independence, he became a member of the Constituent Assembly in 1947. He later became a member of the Rajya Sabha. He also served as the president of the Indian National Congress from 1959 to 1962. Subsequently he served as Union Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation, from January 1966 to March 1967 in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Hindupur constituency. He was chosen as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha on March 17th, 1967. This won him immense recognition. He served his term with such dedication and passion that he is remembered as the best ever Lok Sabha Speaker.

He became the first chief minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Reddy was elected as the President on 21st July, 1977 and was sworn in on 25th July. He was the only candidate to have contested twice in the presidential race, one in 1969 against V.V. Girl, and then in 1977.

As the President, Neelam Sanjiva Reddy visited many states in India. He also visited many foreign lands during his term as the President like the U.S.S.R, Bulgaria, Zambia, U.K, Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka etc. Reddy worked with three prime ministers, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh and Indira Gandhi.

Reddy authored the book Without Fear or Favour: Reminiscences and Reflections of a President. It was published in 1989. He died in 1996 at the age of 83. His samadhi is at Kallahalli, near Bangalore.

Picture Credit : Google 

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