Ram Mohan Naidu: Youngest minister in Modi Cabinet holds out promise for Srikakulam’s progress

Ram Mohan Naidu has advocated against GST on sanitary pads, highlighted need for sex education and menstrual hygiene in the parliament.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jun 10, 2024 | 4:00 PM Updated Jun 10, 2024 | 4:00 PM

TDP's K Ram Mohan Naidu (seen with his family) entered politics after his father Yerran Naidu's demise in a car accident. (Ram Mohan Naidu Kinjarapu/X)

At 36, Kinjarapu Ram Mohan Naidu is the youngest minister in Narendra Modi Cabinet 3.0.

An embodiment of energy, vivacity, and enthusiasm, Ram Mohan is representing the Srikakulam constituency in Andhra Pradesh for the third consecutive term.

Always seen with a friendly demeanor, Ram Mohan cannot be ignored as a young, starry-eyed MP in the Lower House. Fluent in English and Hindi besides Telugu, he had earlier advocated menstrual hygiene and sex education in Parliament.

The TDP MP had also campaigned against the GST on sanitary napkins, forcing the government to scrap the tax in 2018. The campaigners then said that dropping the GST on pads would encourage more girls to attend school.

Ram Mohan’s performance as an MP fetched him the Sansad Ratna Award in 2020.

Related: Over a dozen South Indian MPs in Modi Cabinet 3.0

Clear vision

After swearing in as a minister, Ram Mohan made his priorities clear. The minister said he would focus mainly on Srikakulam’s irrigation infrastructure. He claimed that development works in Srikakulam, a backward district, took a backseat under YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s rule.

“My priority is to work for the development of Srikakulam. It had been subjected to neglect,” he said.

Ram Mohan has been an asset for TDP’s N Chandrababu Naidu since his first Lok Sabha win from Srikakulam in 2014. He completed a hat-trick in 2024 with a majority of 3.27 lakh votes over YSRCP’s Perada Tilak.

His fluency in Hindi, a rare trait among Andhra politicians, has been an added advantage in Delhi. His power-packed Hindi speeches in Parliament had often surprised native Hindi speakers. He remained a stout defender of the TDP’s policies on various issues in his previous two terms.

His father Kinjarapu Yerran Naidu was a confidant of Chandrababu Naidu till his death in a car accident at Ranasthalam in Srikakulam on 2 November 2012. He was returning from a wedding in Visakhapatnam when the mishap took place.

Yerran Naidu was a central minister in the United Front Government in 1996 under two prime ministers: HD Deve Gowda and IK Gujral. He held the key portfolio of Rural Development and Employment.

Incidentally, Yerran Naidu became a central minister at the age of 39.

Also Read: Modi calls NDA an ‘organic alliance’

US-educated accidental politician

Chandrababu Naidu has a special place in his heart for North Andhra since the region has always stood by the TDP since the days of NTR.

When Naidu joined the NDA in 2014, Pusapati Ashok Gajapati Raju from Vizianagaram district was made the Civil Aviation Minister. Now, Ram Mohan Naidu is also a Cabinet minister.

Born at Nimmada in Srikakulam’s Kotabommali Mandal, Ram Mohan was academic-oriented. He took a degree in engineering from Purdue University in the US and a post-graduate degree in Business Administration from Long Island University, before landing a job in Singapore.

But he returned to Srikakulam in 2012 after his father’s death and took the political plunge. He familiarised himself with the people of the constituency by undertaking a bicycle yatra.

In his debut elections in 2014, he defeated his YSRCP rival Reddy Shanthi by a margin of 1.27 lakh votes. In 2019, he grew stronger, and despite a pro-Jagan wave, retained Srikakulam with a majority of 6,653 against Duvvada Srinivas of the YSRCP.

Ram Mohan’s paternal uncle Kinjarapu Atchen Naidu is the president of the Telugu Desam AP unit while his father-in-law is TDP’s Maduluga MLA Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy.

(Edited by Majnu Babu).