The man behind AP's saffron success
Ch Sushil Rao in Hyderabad
There's hardly anyone in the Bharatiya Janata Party's Andhra Pradesh unit who is not pleased with the inclusion of its president Bandaru Dattatreya in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee ministry.
Dattatreya's elevation did not come as a surprise. If the BJP has won four Lok Sabha seats in the state, it is largely because of his efforts. How difficult the task was can be gauged by the fact that the BJP failed to win a single seat in 1996.
He is among the four BJP winners, having wrested the Secunderabad seat from former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao's son P V Rajeshwara Rao by 185,910 votes. Rao defeated him in 1996.
In 1991, Dattatreya was the lone BJP candidate who won from the state. Wresting the Secunderabad constituency from the Congress, he sent shock waves in the oldest party.
A backward class leader, Dattatreya joined the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh in 1966. He carried out social service through an organisation called 'Seva Bharati'. He was arrested during the Emergency.
Joining the BJP in 1980, he became the party's state general secretary a year later.
He was made the state unit's vice-president in 1989 and its president in 1997.
Sober and low profile, Dattatreya's contribution in building the party in the state has been significant.
Additional reportage: UNI
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