The youngest minister in the Cabinet, D Sridhar Babu’s strong public relations skills serve him well.
He once dreamt of becoming a sensational lawyer. He planned to set up a corporate legal firm and employ scores of legal brains. But destiny had other plans for the 43-year-old civil supplies and legislative affairs minister, D Sridhar Babu.
His father’s untimely death forced him to make his foray into politics in 1999. Babu’s father, D Sripada Rao, was a renowned Congress leader from Karimnagar district. Sripada Rao was the AP Legislative Assembly Speaker and created a niche for himself in State politics. Naxalites cut short his life in 1999.
“I was successfully practising as a High Court lawyer when I lost my father. The responsibility to fill the vacuum created by him fell on me. I accepted it to carry his legacy forward and fulfill his dreams of developing Karimnagar, especially his assembly constituency Manthani,” Babu said.
The youngest minister in N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s Cabinet, Babu maintains strong public relations with all kinds of people. He never seems to tire of solving public problems and reaching out to people in need. “People in distress visit me. Those who are rich, they don’t come to me. So, whoever comes to me, I will try my level best to solve their problems,” Babu says between the numerous telephone calls he attends. The minister meets around 600 people every day. His strong public relations skills helped him make a hat-trick in his constituency.
Reminiscing about his childhood, Babu says he had a regular upbringing. Being the fourth among six siblings, he had the good fortune to pursue his studies. “My father never intended us to get into politics. He wanted all of us to pursue higher education. My mother looked after our education,” he said.
The minister is an avid cricketer as well. He represented Nizam College and University of Hyderabad during his college days.Babu says that even becoming a Cabinet minister is a big achievement in his life. He is also a realistic man when it comes to politics. “You never know.”
He rues the fact that, being a politician, he does not get any time for his family. “Thank god my children are very young. If they are old enough, they could have complained that I am not spending quality time with them,” he adds. After becoming an MLA, Babu married Shailaja Ramaiyer, an IAS officer of AP cadre and the couple has two children. The minister vows he will set up his law firm in two years.