Ganti Mohana Chandra Balayogi was born on October 1, 1951, to Ganniyya and Satyamma, an agricultural family in Yedurulanka village of East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh. He was the second among three children.
Balayogi had his primary education at Guttenadivi village. He completed collegiate education in Kakinada before moving on to Andhra University at Waltair where he pursued post-graduation in political science and graduation in law.
He started his legal career at the bar in Kakinada in 1980. In 1985, he crossed over to the bench when he was selected as a first class magistrate. But he resigned from the service and returned to the bar to resume legal practice in Kakinada.
From 1987 to 1991, Balayogi served as the chairman of the East Godavari Zilla Praja Parishad.
In 1991, he contested from the Amalapuram constituency on a Telugu Desam Party ticket and was elected to the 10th Lok Sabha for the first time.
In the 1996 General Election, however, Balayogi lost his seat. The defeat did not daunt him and he continued to serve the people with great determination.
The TDP leader reached the pinnacle of his career on March 24, 1998, when he was elected Speaker of the 12th Lok Sabha.
His rise to one of the most respected posts in the country was a watershed moment in the history of India, as it was the first time that a dalit leader had been elected to the chair.
It was also for the first time that a member belonging to a regional party had risen to become the speaker of the Lok Sabha.
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