POLITICS

His entry on the political arena dates back to the Mulki agitation days. "Being the union leader of my college I took active part in the agitation along with M. Venkaiah Naidu and K. Haribabu. I was also arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during Emergency."

He later took active part in JP's movement for purity in public life and was the district unit president of the Chhatra Sangarsh Committee.

"Immediately after the Emergency I found myself at the crossroads. I had to decide whether to continue my academic goals or plunge into full-time politics. Being the eldest son of a large middle class family I decided to put politics in the backseat and joined as lecturer in Nandigama. The political phase resurfaced when I came in touch with the Telugu Desam Party founder, N.T. Rama Rao. I became his Hindi instructor, and NTR's eldest son Harikrishna catapulted me to the Rajya Sabha in 1996."

It was Hindi that got him a job and, it was Hindi that put him in close contact with NTR and it was again that language that earned him a good name in Parliament. He earned the appreciation of scholarly political leaders like Narashimha Rao, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Karan Singh and L.K. Advani for his command over the language.

Parliament tenure
As a parliamentarian Mr. Lakshmi Prasad not only introduced a number of bills but also earned the sobriquet, the 'Hindi man from South'. Basing on his language prowess he was made the Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language. During his six-year tenure he introduced a number of private bills like Hindu Marriage (Amendment) Bill to benefit women affected with epilepsy; Bill for Establishment of Permanent High Court Bench at Visakhapatnam to speed up justice to commoners; Marketing and other Facilities Bill to benefit farmers, especially mango growers in the districts of Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram; and Prohibition of Extravagant Expenditure in Marriages Bill.

On many an occasion, he raised the issues related to Hindustan Shipyard, Alamatti, cotton growers' plight and capital restructuring for Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. He received accolades from all quarters when he brought to light the plight of the family members of Defence personnel, especially the womenfolk who were being harassed by goondas in New Delhi, as their husbands were busy serving on the borders.
 

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