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Dr B.Pattabhi Sitaramayya

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Dr B.Pattabhi Sitaramayya

Dr Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya was born in a Telugu 6000 Niyogi Brahmin family on November 24, 1880 in Gundugolanu village, Krishna district (now part of West Godavari district) in Andhra Pradesh, was an Indian independence activist and political leader in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Pattabhi graduated from the prestigious Madras Christian College, fulfilled his ambition to become a medical practitioner by securing a M.B.C.M. degree. He started his practice as a doctor in the coastal town of Machilipatnam, the then headquarters of Krishna District and the political centre of Andhra. He left his lucrative practice to join the freedom fighting movement. During the years 1912-13, when there was a great controversy over the desirability of forming a separate province for Andhra, he wrote a number of articles in “The Hindu” and other journals explaining the need for immediate formation of linguistic provinces.

At the Lucknow session of the Congress in 1916, he demanded the formation of separate Congress circle for Andhra. The demand was opposed by Mahatma Gandhi, but as Tilak supported Pattabhi, the Andhra Congress Committee came into existence in 1918. He was a member of the Working Committee of the Congress for a number of years and the President of Andhra Provincial Congress Committee during the years 1937-40.

He ran for the presidency of the Indian National Congress as the candidate closest to Mohandas Gandhi, against the more-radical Subhas Bose in Tripura Session of 1939. He lost owing to Bose’s rising popularity and the belief that Pattabhi favored the inclusion of Tamil-majority districts in a future Telugu state in independent India.

Serving on the Congress Working Committee when Quit India was launched in 1942, Pattabhi was arrested with the entire committee and incarcerated for three years without outside contact in the fort in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. During this time he maintained a detailed diary of day-to-day life during imprisonment, which was published later as Feathers and Stones .He is also the author of The History of the Congress published in 1935 with an introductory note given by the Rajendra Prasad. His other popular publication was Gandhi and Gandhism .

He ran successfully for Congress presidency in 1948, winning with the support of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India. He was a member of the J.V.P. Committee( Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi) which recommended the formation of Andhra State without Madras City. Prior to this he served as a member in the Constituent Assembly, in 1952 he was elected to Rajya Sabha. Pattabhi also served as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh from 1952 to 1957. He established Andhra Bank in Machilipatnam on 28 November 1923 which is currently one of the major commercial banks of India. He also started Andhra Insurance Company and Bhagyalakshmi Bank.

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