Parakala Prabhakar is an Indian politician, political economist, political commentator, social worker and a television presenter. He is the husband of Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of the Government of India in 2019.
Parakala Prabhakar was born on 2 January 1959 (age 60 years; as in 2019) in Narsapuram, Andhra Pradesh. His zodiac sign is Capricorn. Parakala received his primary education from Lakshminarasamamba Municipal School, Narasapuram and went to Peoples’ High School in Himayatnagar, Hyderabad for his high schooling. Prabhakar received his senior secondary education from Nampally Junior College, Hyderabad and Sri YN College, Narasapuram. He did his graduation from Andhra Loyola College in Vijayawada and went to New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to pursue his Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.). Thereafter, Parakala went to London School of Economics (LSE) to complete his PhD. He submitted a thesis on “Security Doctrines and Foreign Policy Behaviour: A Study of Brazil, Ghana and Indonesia.” Prabhakar worked on his thesis under the supervision of Christopher Coker in the International Relations Department.
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: Grey
Eye Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Wife
Parakala Prabhakar belongs to a Brahmin Family. His father, Parakala Seshavatharam, was a legislator who served in three successive Cabinets in the state of Andhra Pradesh and his mother, Parakala Kalikamba, was a Member of Legislative Assembly from Andhra Pradesh. He has one elder sister.
Prabhakar got married to Nirmala Sitharaman in 1986. They have a daughter, Vangamayi.
Being born into a family with political background, Prabhakar was familiar with electoral politics since his childhood. However, he was exposed to politics only when he was elected as the president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) students’ organisation from National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). In 1984, he was appointed as the All India Vice President of the NSUI Central Committee and travelled to several states and universities to organise the activities of the students’ wing of the Congress Party. In 1986, Prabhakar moved to London to pursue his higher studies. On his return from London, he was assigned the post of ‘Officer on Special Duty’ by Narasimha Rao to look after the implementation of the project ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Institute for Youth Development (RGNIYD). He resigned from the RGNIYD assignment in 1994 and contested the Legislative Assembly elections from Andhra Pradesh. Prabhakar lost the elections by 20,000 votes.
In 1996, he contested the Lok Sabha by-elections from the Narsapuram Assembly Constituency and lost it narrowly. The inner party arguments led him to exit from Congress. In 1997, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He contested the 1998 Lok Sabha elections from the Narasapur Constituency and lost again. Parakala played an active role in the party affairs and became the spokesperson of the party from Andhra Pradesh. He became the member of the BJP’s national economic cell that guided the party’s economic policy and the member of a task force of the Planning Commission of India that formulated the Xth Five Year Plan.
In 2006, he contested the general elections from the constituency of East and West Godavari Districts and lost it for the fourth time. He, then, resigned from the BJP. In 2008, some like-minded people approached him to start a new political platform. Chiranjeevi was the face of the party. Prabhakar lent his support to the idea and established the ‘Prajarajyam Party.’ Parakala was one of the founding General Secretaries and spokespersons of the party. The party ended up securing just 18 seats in the 2009 Assembly elections and marked the end of the electoral political career of Parakala.
In June 2014, Prabhakar was appointed as the Communications Advisor to the Andhra Pradesh Government. As the Communications Advisor, he established the communication network for the state. He also introduced social media into every department of the government. After serving the government for around four years, Prabhakar resigned from his position on 19 June 2018. In his resignation, he mentioned that he was pained at the Opposition Leaders’ comments and did not want any shadow of doubt to be cast on the government.
- Fruit: Apple
- Beverage: Coffee
- Holiday Destination: London
- Colour: White
- Book: Brief Answers To The Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
- Game: Chess
- His hobbies include travelling, reading books, listening to music, and doing photography.
- After the 2009 Legislative Assembly Elections, the Tamil actor and producer, Naga Babu, described Prabhakar as a ‘Snake’ and alleged him of betraying the trust that Chiranjeevi had shown on him. According to him, it was Prabhakar who damaged the poll prospects of Praja Rajyam Party before the 2009 elections.
- Prabhakar was against the idea of dividing the state of Andhra Pradesh. In 2009, when the UPA government announced its intentions to divide the state into two and granting statehood to Telangana, Parakala, with a few like-minded people established “Visalandhra Mahasabha,” a forum to keep the state of Andhra Pradesh united.