Andhra Pradesh

Kodela Sivaprasad is no more

Dr Kodela Sivaprasad Rao, former Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh assembly has died. He committed suicide at his residence in Hyderabad. He was rushed in a critical condition to the Basavatharakaramma hospital in the city, which he had helped establish. He was admitted to the ICU but the doctors could not save him. He was 72.

Rao was under intense pressure for the past few weeks after it was disclosed that he had diverted assembly furniture, air-conditioners and computers to his residence and to his son’s car showroom in Guntur. Cases were booked against him and family members and he came under severe attack over social media. 

A qualified medical doctor, Rao was admitted to hospital in Guntur after a heart stroke last month.  

Rao has been a senior member of the Telugu Desam, holding several ministerial positions in successive TDP governments. He was Home minister in the 1980s under NT Rama Rao and later served as Panchayat Raj minister when Chandrababu Naidu was CM of united Andhra Pradesh. He was elected six times to the Andhra Pradesh assembly.

He raised the hackles of the YSRCP in the previous assembly, overlooking the defection by 23 of its MLAs to the ruling TDP. YS Jaganmohan Reddy had accused Rao of being partisan, one of the reasons why the YSRCP boycotted the assembly sessions for close to a year in 2018-19. 

Rao has been a strongman in Guntur district, holding considerable political sway and clout with his critics often accusing him of adopting means which was against the law.

The TDP has accused the YSRCP of putting pressure on Rao that he ended up taking the extreme step. Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani alleged it was not suicide but murder.

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