Kamaraj

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Kamaraj (July 15, 19031975) was an Indian politician widely known as a kingmaker in Indian politics. He was instrumental in bringing to power two Prime Ministers, Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1964 and Indira Gandhi in 1966.

He was born to Kumarasamy and Sivakami Ammal at Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu. His was from a poor family belonging to the Nadar caste (a mercantile caste) and retained a spartan life style and bachelorhood throughout his lifetime. Despite dropping out of school in the seventh grade he rose to political prominence joining the struggle for Indian independence at the age of sixteen.

Kamaraj became Chief Minister of Madras in 1954 and ruled the state for thirteen years. He was also president of the Indian National Congress for five years. As Chief Minister, he initiated massive reforms in the educational and the social sectors of the state.

It is also said that he lived in a rented house and had a possession of only 120 rupees and 6 dhothis when he died--a hard gesture from a Chief Minister of Indian history.

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