PV Narasimha Rao
PV Narasimha RaoReuters File

Former Prime Minister late PV Narasimha Rao's name is to be recommended by Telangana government for Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in the country. Rao, who was the prime minister between 1991 and 1996, is remembered by India for his sweeping economic reforms.

Telangana Government's Padma Awards Committee, headed by Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma, has decided to recommend Rao's name to the Union Government for the highest civilian award.

During his tenure as Prime Minister, Rao opened up the country to foreign investments and implemented several economic reforms in the country. Rao made Manmohan Singh his Finance Minister to initiate the economic reforms in the country. Like any other Congress leader, Rao was a staunch loyalist to Nehru-Gandhi family.

Rao was born on 28 June 1921 in Lakinepalli of Warangal district. He was a freedom fighter during the Indian freedom movement. Post-independence, Rao joined Indian National Congress and gradually rose to become the chief minister of the then united Andhra Pradesh. He was chief minister of AP between 1971 and 1973.

As chief minister of AP, Rao made a mark by implementing land reforms in the state.

Before becoming the prime minister, Narasimha Rao served as Union Defence Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister at the Centre.

Before the creation of Telangana last June, N Kiran Kumar Reddy's government in the united AP government had recommended Bharat Ratna for Rao in 2013. But the UPA government at the Centre had ignored it. Again in last June, on the occasion of Rao's 93rd birth anniversary, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that the state would recommend Narasimha Rao's name for Bharat Ratna.

Several leaders from Andhra Pradesh, including KCR, lament that Rao did not get the due recognition for his service to the nation.

On its part, Telangana government has decided to name Telangana State University for Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences after Narasimha Rao. To exhibit Rao's life to the public, the state has plans to build a memorial in Telangana.

Rao was a litterateur and wrote several books in Telugu and Hindi. He was fluent in several Indian and foreign languages. He has translated eminent Telugu writer Viswanatha Satyanarayana's "Veyi Padagalu" novel into Hindi as "Sahasra Phan."

Telangana government is planning to showcase Rao's literary works and speeches at the proposed memorial.