HYDERABAD: Former minister and TRS MLA T Padma Rao was unanimously elected deputy speaker of Telangana Assembly on Monday.
Speaker Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy announced the unanimous election of Padma Rao as deputy speaker as no other nomination was received (on Saturday last when the nominations were accepted) for the post.
With the ruling TRS having reached out to opposition parties to make the election of deputy speaker a unanimous affair, they had agreed to support his candidature.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Leader of Oppositison M Bhatti Vikramarka and members of other parties conducted Padma Rao, MLA from Secunderabad, to the Chair after the Speaker made the announcement.
Congratulating Padma Rao, the Chief Minister recalled that he had been a dedicated activist for the separate Telangana agitation and described him as a simple and down-to-earth leader.
He had fought against the closure of toddy shops (a source of livelihood for about one lakh workers) in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district in undivided Andhra Pradesh and got them reopened when he became excise minister in 2014, the chief minister said.
The credit for bringing back livelihood to workers goes to Padma Rao, he added.
Assuring his party's cooperation, Vikramarka (Congress) expressed confidence that Padma Rao would be successful in running the House, upholding the highest standards of ethics and democracy.
BJP MLA T Raja Singh, AIMIM's Kausar Mohiuddin and a number of other MLAs from all parties congratulated Padma Rao on being elected to the office of deputy speaker.
State Home Minister Mohd Mehmood Ali said Padma Rao maintained cordial relations with all sections of society in the spirit of "Ganga-Jamuna Tehzeeb" (pluralistic culture) that Hyderabad is famous for.
64-year old Padma Rao entered politics in 1973 as a Youth Congress activist and was elected as a Corporator in Hyderabad in 1986.
He joined the TRS in 2001 when the party was formed.
He was elected to the Assembly in 2004 and again in 2014 and had served as excise minister during the previous TRS government during 2014 to 2018.