Raja of Panagal

Sir Panaganti Ramarayaningar, (July 9, 1866 – December 16, 1928), also known as the Raja of Panagal, was a zamindar of Kalahasti, a Justice Party leader and the Chief Minister or Premier of Madras Presidency from July 11, 1921 to December 3, 1926.

Ramarayaningar was born in Kalahasti on July 9, 1866. He did his schooling in Madras and obtained degrees in Sanskrit, law, philosophy and Dravidian languages before plunging into politics. He was one of the founder-members of the Justice Party and served as its President from 1925 to 1928.

From December 17, 1920 to July 11, 1921, Ramarayaningar served as the Minister of Local Self-Government in the first Justice Party government led by A. Subbarayalu Reddiar. He served as the Chief Minister of Madras Presidency from July 11, 1921 to December 3, 1926. He introduced a number of reforms during his tenure. The Theagaroya Nagar locality in Chennai was developed during his Chief-Ministership. Ramarayaningar resigned as Chief Minister in 1926 when the Justice Party failed to obtain a majority in the 1926 elections to the Madras Legislative Council. He, however, continued to remain active in politics and served as the President of the Justice Party until his death on December 16, 1928.

Ramarayaningar was regarded as an advocate of democracy and a staunch supporter of empowerment of the depressed classes. Historians generally attribute the decline of the Justice Party in the mid-1930s to the absence of charismatic leaders in the Justice Party following his death.

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