Amaravati (AP): The death of former Andhra Pradesh Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao has triggered a political slugfest in the state with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) holding the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government responsible for the veteran leaders suspected suicide.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu accused the Andhra Pradesh government of causing a lot of mental agony to Kodela Sivaprasada Rao by ‘foisting’ several cases on him.
The YSR Congress (YSRC) maintained it had nothing to do with Kodela Sivaprasada Rao’s death and there was no political witch-hunt by the government as being alleged by the TDP.
The 72-year old Rao, who died Monday at a hospital in Hyderabad was last month slapped with a criminal case by the Andhra Pradesh Police for alleged illegal possession of furniture of the Assembly.
However, the TDP has blamed the government for Rao’s death. “For the last three months, the Jagan Mohan 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,” N Chandrababu Naidu told TDP workers in Guntur.
“The state government caused a lot of mental agony to Rao who was popularly called Palnati Puli (Tiger of Palnadu region),” the former Chief Minister alleged.
Other TDP leaders, including Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas and MLA K Atchannaidu, termed Rao’s death a political murder by the YSRC.
Refuting the TDPs charges, state Municipal Minister Botsa Satyanarayana said the government did not harass the former Speaker.
“There have been conflicting versions on Rao’s death since afternoon. A thorough inquiry is needed to establish the facts,” the minister told reporters at the Secretariat. He requested the Andhra Pradesh government to conduct a detailed probe into the veteran TDP leader’s death.
Hitting back at the TDP for indulging in politics over the dead, Botsa Satyanarayana maintained that certain cases were filed against Kodela and family members based on complaints by ‘their victims’.
Meanwhile, Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed grief over the former Speaker’s 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.