Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, who took oath as a cabinet minister Monday, is an engineer and industrialist who is serving his fifth term in parliament.
Rao, 63, represents Eluru constituency in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh in the Lok Sabha. Elected to the lower house for the first time in 1984, he is serving his fifth term.
He has served as Congress secretary and has been on several parliamentary panels in the past including the crucial Public Accounts Committee 2007-09.
A qualified engineer, his interests include social work. Popularly known as Kavuri among his supporters, the senior leader has been finally rewarded by the party leadership, after being disappointed at being ignored on several occasions in the past.
Miffed over being ignored again during the reshuffle in October last year, he had sent his resignation to Lok Sabha speaker but was persuaded by the leadership to take it back.
Born in Krishna district of coastal Andhra, Kavuri was elected to Lok Sabha thrice (1984, 1989 and 1998) from Machilipatnam and twice (2004 and 2009) from Eluru.
He had been leading Congress MPs from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, opposing the demand for separate statehood to Telangana region. Pro-Telangana groups have accused him of opposing the demand as he has business interests in Hyderabad.
Kavuri owns Progressive Constructions, which is involved in large-scale infrastructure projects in many parts of the country. He had set up the firm in 1966 after passing out of an engineering college.