Rao, P. V. Narasimha


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Rao, P. V. Narasimha

(Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao) (pä'mo͝oləpär`tē vĕnkät`ə näräs`ĭmhə rou), 1921–2004, Indian politician, prime minister of India (1991–96), b. Hyderabad. A poet, he was active in the Indian National CongressIndian National Congress,
Indian political party, founded in 1885. Its founding members proposed economic reforms and wanted a larger role in the making of British policy for India.
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 during the struggle for independence and thereafter. He served as a minister (1962–71) and chief minister (1971–73) in the Andhra Pradesh state government before his election to the Indian parliament in 1972. A member of the Congress-I party, he held (1980–89) several cabinet posts under Indira GandhiGandhi, Indira
, 1917–84, Indian political leader; daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. She served as an aide to her father, who was prime minister (1947–64), and as minister of information in the government of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri (1964–66).
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 and Rajiv GandhiGandhi, Rajiv
, 1944–91, prime minister of India (1984–89). Oldest son of Indira Gandhi, he flew for Indian Airlines until his brother died in 1981 and he was drafted into politics by his mother.
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, including foreign affairs minister (1980–84).

After Rajiv Gandhi's assassination in 1991, Rao was chosen to lead the Congress party, and when Congress won a plurality in parliament later that year Rao became prime minister. He moved decisively toward free-market reforms, reducing the government's economic role, instituting austerity measures, and encouraging foreign investment. He was often confronted by Hindu religious unrest and by opposition within his own party. In 1996 a corruption scandal rocked the government. When general elections were held in May, Rao and Congress were badly defeated, and he lost the prime ministership. He retained leadership of the Congress party until late 1996. In 2000, Rao was convicted of conspiring to buy votes in parliament prior to a 1993 no-confidence vote, but the conviction was overturned in 2002.