Karimnagar: At last, a strong Telangana protagonist got an opportunity to serve the people. Though his age may not permit him to compete with the young politicians, he is confident enough to shoulder the task. It is the inspiring story of Perala Gopal Rao, 88, who was elected as Karimnagar Zilla Parishad vice-chairman in the indirect election held on Saturday. He was elected as Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC) member from Saidapur mandal.
A diehard Telangana sympathiser, Gopal Rao resigned to his teaching job to take part in 1969 agitation and played an active role in statehood movement. He was also jailed for 15 days for participating in ‘Andhra go back’ movement. A native of Vennampalli of Saidapur Mandal, Gopal Rao was born in 1931. After completing education, he secured a government job as a teacher and worked in Kamalapur and Huzurabad mandals.
After working for five years, he resigned to the job in 1969 and joined Telangana agitation. He along with former Kamalapur MLA Janardhan Reddy, Krishnamraju and others actively participated in Telangana movement. He again joined the Telangana movement after the formation of Telangana Rashtra Samithi in 2001 and worked in different levels. The first Karimnagar district vice-president of TRS, Gopal Rao worked as in-charge for Kamalapur, Warangal urban and other constituencies.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Gopal Rao made it clear that he never participated in Telangana agitation with an eye on political posts. He fought to get separate Telangana from Andhra. In last elections, he got an opportunity to contest in ZPTC polls but stayed away following the instructions from Rajya Sabha member Capt Laxmikantha Rao. In 1970, he contested for the first time for Huzurabad sarpanch post but got defeated with one vote. Later, he worked as Vennampalli single window chairman for five terms.