President of India Ram Nath Kovind paid homage to Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, former President of India, on his 105th birth anniversary.
President Kovind, officers and staff of Rashtrapati Bhavan paid floral tributes to the portrait of Neelam Sanjiva Reddy in the Durbar Hall on Saturday.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) May 19, 2018
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also remembered former President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy.
Remembering former President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy on his birth anniversary
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 19, 2018
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was the sixth President of India, serving from 1977 to 1982.
Reddy was a freedom fighter and participated in the Indian Independence movement. He began his political career with the Indian National Congress party and went on to hold several key offices in independent India—as the first Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, a two-time Speaker of the Lok Sabha and a Union Minister—before becoming the President of India.
After resigning from the post of Lok Sabha Speaker, Reddy retired from active politics and moved back to Anantapur where he took to farming.
However, Reddy emerged from his political exile in 1975 responding to Jayaprakash Narayan’s call for a total revolution/JP movement.
In January 1977, he was made a member of the Committee of the Janata Party and in March, he fought the General Election from the Nandyal constituency in Andhra Pradesh as a Janata Party candidate. He was the only non-Congress candidate to be elected from Andhra Pradesh.
In 1977, Reddy was elected unopposed, the only President to be elected thus, after being unanimously supported by all political parties including the opposition Congress party.
At 64, he became the youngest ever person to be elected President of India.