Born: 19 May 1913
Served as President of India from : 25 July 1977 – 25 July 1982
Political Party: Janata Party
Neelam Sanjiva’s Biography
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was born in present day Anantpur village in Andhra Pradesh. He completed his graduation at the Government Arts College in Anantpur. In 1942, participating in the Quit India Movement, he served time at the Amraoti Jail.
After independence, Reddy rose through the ranks. He was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly in 1946 and served as secretary of the party. He became Chief Minister of the newly formed state of Andhra Pradesh in 1956.
From 1964 to 1967, he served as Union minister in various departments in both the Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi governments. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in the general elections of 1967. He was subsequently elected as Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Although he was the Congress party’s official nominee for President in 1969, VV Giri emerged victorious.
He retired from active politics, but returned after JP’s call for total revolution in 1977. He was elected unopposed President in 1977. At the completion of his term, Reddy retired to his farm in Anantnag, where he later passed away.
Neelam Sanjiva’s Career and Achievements
- Reddy was elected the president of the Indian National Congress three times – 1960, 1961 and 1962.
- In his second term as Chief Minister, he resigned voluntarily after the Supreme Court criticized his government in the Bus routes Nationalization matter.
He was elected as The President of India in 1977.
- As Speaker of the Lok Sabha, he was famously independent-minded.
- He resigned from the INC when he was elected to the post. His frequent clashes with PM Indira Gandhi led to her supporting VV Giri. Giri eventually won on her backing.
- Reddy returned from retirement on back of Jayprakash Narayan’s call for total revolution.
- He won the LS seat from Nandyal seat in Andhra Pradesh as the only non-Congress member from Andhra Pradesh.
Neelam Sanjiva is the only President ever to be elected unopposed to the office.
Neelam Sanjiva’s Awards and Recognition
- On his birth centenary, the Indian Postal Department released an honorary stamp in addition to a special cover.
- Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was the youngest ever to become the President, he was only 65 years of age when he became President.