Dattatreya - Lone Telangana face in Union Cabinet
Hyderabad: A prominent leader of the saffron party in undivided Andhra Pradesh, Bandaru Dattatreya rose through the ranks from being a full-time RSS pracharak to become the lone representative of the new state of Telangana in the Union Cabinet.
The four-time MP from Secunderabad, Dattatreya earlier served as the Union Minister of State for Urban Development, Poverty Alleviation and Railways in the A B Vajpayee Cabinet during 1998-99 and 2000-04.
Dattatreya held Independent charge of the Urban Development Ministry from 2003 to 2004 and was member of Lok Sabh from 1991 to 1996, 1998-99 and 1999-2004.
However, he had lost the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Born on June 12, 1947, Dattatreya joined RSS in 1965 and worked as a Pracharak in the Sangh fountainhead from 1968 to 1989.
A state joint secretary of Lok Sangharsh Samiti of the Jayaprakash Narayan movement, he was arrested under MISA during Emergency.
He went on to join the BJP in 1980 and held various positions in the party in undivided Andhra Pradesh, including state general secretary, vice president and state unit president.
He was also National Secretary of BJP, in-charge of Tamil Nadu, in 2004 and National Vice President in 2010.
A down-to-earth leader, Dattatreya has been associated with various grassroot organisations representing hawkers and auto drivers.
He also headed cultural organisations like Seva Bharati and Samskara Bharati and worked for slum development.