Leaders of the Congress, Telugu Desam, Bharatiya Janata Party and Praja Rajyam paid rich tributes to former MP of Anakapalle and Chairman of VUDA Petakamsetti Appalanarasimham, as his bronze statute was unveiled at the Diamond Park here on Wednesday.

All the top leaders of the parties were present and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dadi Veerabhadra Rao presided. Sadguru Sivananda Murthy of Anandavanam (Bheemunipatnam) unveiled the statute. Mr. Veerabhadra Rao said Appalanarasimham identified himself with the people and worked tirelessly for the development of Visakhapatnam district. Veteran politicians Bhattam Srirama Murthy recalled his association with Appalanarasimham, and the support and help extended to him.

Senior leader of BJP and former MLC P.V. Chalapathi Rao said Appalanarasimham was a good friend and lauded his work.

Former Minister Konathala Ramakrishna said Appalanarasimham was close to his family and it so happened that in his first election he had contested against him, in which he won by a narrow margin of nine votes. “I did not want to contest against him but he told me that family friendship should not come in the way of fighting an election on party lines. Even during the recounting of votes, he was asking me if I was tense”.

Former Minister and current convenor of Visakhapatnam TDP ad hoc committee Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu said it was Appalanarasimham who brought him into politics. In 1982 when he was just 22 years old, the late leader came to his house and told him that N.T. Rama Rao wanted him to contest the elections. The late Appalanarasimham’s frankness earned him many admirers and an equal number of detractors, Mr. Patrudu said.

Vice-president of State TDP and former Minister Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy said he was also among those brought into politics by Appalanarasimham and moved closely with the senior leader for more than two decades.

MLA and Praja Rajyam leader Ganta Srinivasa Rao said Appalanarasimham was one of the few leaders who enjoyed people’s support whether in power or not.

Appalanarasimham and Dronamraju Satyanarayana were political rivals but personally good friends, said Visakha South MLA and son of the latter, Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao.

The late leader was also affectionate towards him, he added. Son of Appalanarasimham and former MLA P.G.V.R. Naidu thanked the leaders and admirers for making the function a success. MLAs Tynala Vijayakumar, P. Ramesh Babu, “Avanti” Srinivasa Rao and Velagapudi Ramakrishna Babu, former MLAs S.A. Rehaman, Palla Simhachalam and Tippala Gurumurthy Reddy, former VUDA Chairman P.S.N. Raju (Ravi), former Minister Reddy Satyanarayana, vice-president of Volleyball Federation of India S. Kodandaramaiah, several Corporators attended