Ex-AP Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao dead


Hyderabad: Former Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao died under suspicious circumstances at his residence in Banjara Hills here on Monday morning. His body was found hanging from a ceiling fan by a rope in a room on the first floor of his house, raising doubts of suicide.

However, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) AR Srinivas said the exact reason behind Rao’s death could be ascertained only after getting an autopsy report. The leader’s death triggered a political row with TDP, the main Opposition party in Andhra Pradesh, blaming the Andhra government for the incident.

Rao’s family was facing several police cases in Guntur district. He was the first Assembly Speaker of the reorganised State of Andhra Pradesh after TDP came to power in 2014. The 72-year-old lost from Sattenepalli Assembly constituency in Guntur district during the Assembly elections held in April.

On Monday morning, Rao informed his family that he was feeling uneasy, and went to his room on the first floor. His daughter, P Vijayalaxmi, was about to leave the house to take her mother to a doctor when she repeatedly called him. On getting any response from Rao, despite knocking on the door, she looked through the window and found him hanging from the ceiling fan.

With the help of a gunman and the driver, she broke open the door and rushed Rao to Basavatarakam Indo American Cancer Hospital and Research Institute where doctors declared him brought dead. Hospital chief executive officer Dr. RV Prabhakar Rao said Rao was brought to the hospital at 11.35 am in an unresponsive state. “As per protocol, resuscitative measures were initiated immediately. In spite of best efforts of the medical team, he could not be revived and was declared dead at 12.39 pm,” Prabhakar Rao said.

Based on a complaint lodged by Vijayalaxmi, the Banjara Hills police booked a case of suspicious death under Section 174 of the CrPc.

TDP, YSRC in blame game

Amaravati (AP): The death of former Andhra Pradesh Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao triggered a political slugfest in the State with the Telugu Desam Party holding the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government responsible for the veteran leader’s suspected suicide.

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu accused the State government of causing a lot of mental agony to Rao by “foisting” several cases on him. The YSR Congress maintained it had nothing to do with Rao’s death and there was no political witch-hunt by the government as being alleged by the TDP.

Attacking the YSRC government, Chandrababu Naidu said: For the last three months, the Jaganmohan Reddy government has been harassing Kodela and his family and several cases were foisted on them. He ultimately committed suicide, unable to bear the harassment and unbearable humiliation, he told TDP workers in Guntur. Refuting the TDPs charges, State Municipal Minister Botsa Satyanarayana said the government did not harass the former Speaker. There have been conflicting versions on Kodela’s death since afternoon. A thorough inquiry is needed to establish the facts, the Minister told reporters at the Secretariat.

Meanwhile, AP Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan and Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy expressed grief over the former Speakers death.

The Governor, in a message, said the services of Rao as Assembly Speaker would always be remembered.

In a separate message, the Chief Minister said Rao had a long political innings since 1983 and was also a popular doctor. He extended condolences to the bereaved family.

Jana Sena Party president K Pawan Kalyan also mourned the TDP leader’s death

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