From a humble police constable to a first time MP from Telangana and now at the centrestage as a Union minister of state, Porika Balram Naik has come a long way and is being rewarded for his discipline and loyalty to the Congress high command.
One of the few MPs who did not go against the views of the Congress on the contentious Telangana statehood demand, 48-year-old Naik always stood by the party and on Sunday he is the envy of many of his colleagues.
He refused to join his colleagues from Telangana region when they decided to send their resignations to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in protest against the non-decision on the statehood demand.
This isolated him from others fighting for a separate state, but his discipline and loyalty brought him at the centrestage of politics with his induction into the Union Council of Ministers.
Born to a poor family in Mulugu mandal of Warangal district, the epicentre of Telangana agitation, Naik began his his career as a police constable in his native district.
After serving the force for a few years, he joined the telecom department where he worked for a brief period only to quit and launch his own real estate business.
Going on to build a real estate empire, Naik joined Congress on the eve of 2009 general elections and was elected to Lok Sabha from Mahbubabad (ST) constituency by defeating retired IPS officer D T Naik of erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party.
A graduate, Balram Naik brands himself as a "social worker" and is a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour.
Currently, he is also the all-India president of Banjara Sevak Samaj.