Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao (born 17 February 1954), better known and abbreviated as KCR , is an Indian politician serving as the first and current Chief Minister of Telangana since 2014. He is the leader and founder of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, a regional party in India. He is a Member of the Legislative Assembly (Telangana) representing the Gajwel constituency. Previously, he served as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (Andhra Pradesh) from Siddipet and also as the Member of Parliament from Mahbubnagar, Karimnagar and Medak. He took oath as the first Chief Minister of Telangana in 2014 and was re-elected for the second term in 2018.
Chandrashekhar Rao was born to Raghava Rao and Venkatamma on 17 February 1954 in Chintamadaka village near Siddipet of present-day Telangana. He attained a MA degree in Literature from Osmania University, Hyderabad.
Early political career
Rao started his career with the youth Congress party in Medak district.
Telugu Desam Party
Rao joined the Telugu Desam Party(TDP) in 1983 and contested against A. Madan Mohan and lost that election. He won four consecutive Assembly elections from Siddipet 1985 and 1999. From 1987–1988, he worked as Minister of Drought & Relief in Chief minister N. T. Rama Rao‘s cabinet. In 1990, he was appointed as TDP convener for Medak, Nizamabad, and Adilabad districts. In 1996, he worked as Transport minister in Chief minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu‘s cabinet. He also served as the deputy speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly from 2000–2001.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi
On 27 April 2001, Rao resigned as Deputy Speaker, TDP Party as well. He stood for the people of the Telangana region were being discriminated and believed that separate state is the only solution. In April 2001, he formed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Party at Jala Drushyam, Hyderabad to achieve Telangana statehood. In the elections of 2004, Rao won the Siddipet state assembly constituency and also the Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency, both as a TRS candidate. The TRS fought the 2004 general elections in alliance with the Indian National Congress with a Promise of Congress Party to give Telangana State and Rao was one of the five TRS candidates who was returned as MPs.
TRS was part of the United Progressive Alliance coalition government, led by Congress. He went on to become a Union Cabinet minister of Labour and Employment in the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre with his party colleague Aelay Narendra who became minister of Rural Development and Jannu Jakaraiah as Chairman for National Minimum Wages Advisory Board. The party later withdrew from the coalition, saying that the Alliance was not minded to support a separate Telangana state. He has resigned as MP in 2006 on a challenge of Congress and Won with a Huge Majority of more than 200,000 votes. Again he resigned as MP in agitation of Telangana movement and won with a minor Majority.
In 2009, Rao fought and won the Mahbubnagar Lok Sabha elections. In November 2009, he started a fast-unto-death, demanding the introduction of Telangana Bill in the Indian Parliament. After 11 days of beginning his fast, the Central Government said yes to Telangana as a separate state.
The TRS party fought the general elections as part of the opposition coalition led by TDP. In 2014, Rao was elected as MLA from Gajwel Assembly Constituency of Medak Dist of Telangana State with a majority of 19,218 and as MP from Medak with a majority of 397029 on 16 May 2014.
In Telangana, the TRS, which led the campaign for a separate State for more than a decade, emerged victorious by winning 11 of the 17 Lok Sabha seats and 63 of the 119 Assembly seats, and emerged as the party with the largest vote share.
Chief Minister of Telangana (2014–present)
Rao was sworn in as the first chief minister of the Telangana state at 12.57 pm on 2 June 2014. Rao, a staunch believer in astrology, numerology and Vaastu, is reported to have fixed this time for his inauguration as per the advice of priests to suit his lucky number ‘six’. Rao was re-elected 8 times as TRS president.
His welfare programs are aimed at reviving the rural economy and are focused on the development of each community. An intensive household survey, Samagra Kutumba Survey (SKS) was done in a single day on 19 August 2014 across the state to arrive at citizen information for rolling out welfare programs. The data collected pertaining to 94 parameters, covered one crore four lakh households in the State.
In September 2018, Rao dissolved the Telangana Legislative Assembly, nine months before the its term ends to go for an early election. In December 2018, Rao was re-elected as Chief Minister for the second term, after winning the 2018 Telangana Legislative Assembly election.
In May 2019, ahead of the 2019 Indian general election, Rao attempted to set up Federal Front along with leaders of other regional political parties. The Front’s aim was to bring a non-Congress, non-BJP alliance to power at the Central Government of India.
Rao is married to Shobha and has two children. His son, K. T. Rama Rao, is a legislator from Rajanna Sircilla District, previous Karimnagar district, Telangana and is the cabinet minister for IT, Municipal Administration & Urban Development Departments. His daughter, Kalvakuntla Kavitha, is an EX M.P. from Nizamabad, Telangana. His nephew, Harish Rao, is MLA for the Siddipet constituency and is now the cabinet minister for finance, in the Telangana government. Rao has 9 sisters and 1 elder brother. Rao has good command over languages like Telugu, English, Urdu, and Hindi. He lives with his family at the official chief minister residence, Pragathi Bhavan in Hyderabad City.
- Popular Choice Award at CNN-IBN Indian of the Year2014
- Agricultural leadership award 2017
- Economic Times Awards – Business reformer of the year 2018