On Sunday, 1 January 2023, PV Chalapathi Rao, senior BJP leader and ex-State President of the party in united Andhra Pradesh, passed away at 87 at his residence in Visakhapatnam. Born on 26 June 1935, he helmed several party positions and was fondly called ‘Guruvu Garu’ by BJP members. Chalapathi Rao was also elected as a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) twice (1974 and 1980) and served as the party’s state president between 1980 and 1986. During his tenure, he played a crucial role in winning the BJP’s first-ever mayor in South India and highlighted the party’s existence in North Andhra.
A graduate of BSC, BA, and BL, Pokkala Venkata Chalapathi Rao joined the RSS in 1945 at a very young age as Bala Swayam Sevak. As a youth, he started ABVP units in several colleges in and around Vizag. After enrolling with the Bar Council in 1966, Chalapathi Rao quit advocate practice in 1970 to become a full-time Jana Sangh member. He also actively participated in the Visakha Steel Plant agitation during 1967-68 and the separate Andhra Movement during 1972-73.
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During 1970-74, the late BJP leader served on the board of directors of the Bharatiya Vidya Kendram, which has more than 40 educational institutions under its umbrella in the coastal areas. His selfless efforts ensured permanent jobs for 500 workers in the BHPV and 1,200 in the Military engineering Services. Later, he served the BJP as its national executive member during the late 90s.
Upon his passing away, current BJP State President Somu Veerraju paid respects to PV Chalapathi Rao at this residence in Visakhapatnam. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, National BJP President JP Nadda, National Secretary Sunil Deodhar, and others paid their respects through tweets.
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