• Vice President Venkaiah Naidu paid tributes to former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao on his birth anniversary (June 28, 2020).
• Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao (1921 –2004) was a politician who served as the 9th Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. He also became the Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1971.
• Economic reforms: He sought to dismantle the License Raj system, reduce red tape and make Indian industries more competitive. He laid the foundation for trade liberalization and re-integration of Indian economy with the global economy, especially East Asian economies.
• Foreign policy: Among his bold moves in foreign policy were establishing diplomatic relations with Israel and reversing decades of frosty relations between India and the United States by bringing them together. He also launched the Look East policy.
• Indian nuclear Program: He energised the national nuclear security and ballistic missiles program, which ultimately resulted in the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests by Vajpayee-led NDA government (the tests were planned in 1996 but they were not carried out as government at centre got changed due to 1996 general election).
• National Security: He was also fairly successful in controlling the separatist movements in Punjab and Kashmir.
• Local governance: The path-breaking 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments empowering local bodies during Narasimha Rao’s tenure as the Prime Minister are worthy of mentioning.
• Babri Mosque riots: Rao’s term also saw the destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh when BJP’s Kalyan Singh was Chief Minister, which triggered one of the worst Hindu-Muslim riots in the country since its independence.
• He was also referred to as Chanakya for his ability to steer economic and political legislation through the parliament at a time when he headed a minority government.
Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: P.V. Narasimha Rao
Mains level: Role of P.V. Narasimha Rao for development of India