V. V. Giri

10 Aug 1894
23 Jun 1980
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Varahagiri Venkata Giri (About this sound pronunciation (help·info); 10 August 1894 – 23 June 1980), commonly known as V. V. Giri, was the fourth President of the Republic of India from 24 August 1969 to 24 August 1974.

Born in Berhampur, Odisha, Giri completed his education at Khallikote Autonomous College(Established-1878), Berhampur and the University College, Dublin. Expelled from Ireland in 1916, Giri returned to India where he joined the Indian National Congress Party and became active in the trade union movement. He was a founding member of the All India Railwaymen’s Federation and twice president of the All India Trade Union Congress. Elected to the Imperial Legislative Assembly in 1934, he became a member of the Madras Legislative Assembly in 1937 and served as Minister for Labour until 1937, a portfolio he held again in 1946.

Appointed India’s High Commissioner to Ceylon in 1947, Giri became a Member of Parliament in 1951 and served as Union Minister for Labour under Prime Minister Nehru during 1952-1954. Having served as Governor of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Mysore between 1957 and 1967, he was elected Vice President of India in 1967. Following the death of President Zakir Hussain, Giri also served as Acting President of India from 3 May 1969 to 20 July 1969. In the Presidential election of 1969, he won as an independent candidate defeating Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, the nominee of the ruling Congress Party.

As President, Giri subordinated the office of the Presidency to the Prime Minister and came to be known as a rubber stamp President. Giri was succeeded by Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed as President in 1974. After the end of his term, Giri was honoured with the Bharat Ratna. Giri died in 1980.

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