Marri Chenna Reddy
Chenna Reddy was a Congress Party politician. Born in a Telangana village in the former princely state of Hyderabad, he obtained a MBBS (graduate medical) degree in 1941. At an early age, he joined a students’ organization associated with the Congress Party. In 1946, he became the general secretary of the Hyderabad City Congress, and occupied several posts in various ministries at the state and Union levels. He was also actively involved in the movement promoting a separate Telangana state. He was chief minister of Andhra Pradesh from 1978 to 1980 and, again, from 1989 until his death in 1996. During his tenure, he responded favorably to the RSS’s (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, National Volunteers’ Association) demand to develop the already famous Ganapati public processions (celebrating the Hindu god Ganesh) in Hyderabad. These celebrations triggered many communal riots in the Old City. Chenna Reddy’s tenure as chief minister coincided with many violent incidents.