Sonia, in her message, hailed Rao as a trend-setting film director whose films worked towards bridging social gaps in society.
“He was a devout political and social worker,” she said.
“In the passing of Dasari Narayana Rao garu, Telugu cinema has lost a stalwart. A veteran filmmaker and former minister, his loss will be deeply mourned,” Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.
Rao, 75, who held the Limca World Record for directing the most films, died at a private hospital in Hyderabad on Tuesday after prolonged illness.
He was a Minister in the Manmohan Singh government and directed about 151 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi.