Senior Congress leader and former minister Kotagiri Vidyadhara Rao died of cardiac arrest at his residence in Eluru on Saturday morning. He was 65 and is survived by wife and two children.

His son Sridhar and daughter Anita were with him when the end came around 7-30 a.m.. He was said to have collapsed in the bathroom when he went to answer nature’s call.

He was staying in Eluru for quite some time to work for the victory of his daughter, a sarpanch candidate in the fray at his native East Yadavalli village.

The body was shifted to his native village under Kamavarapukota mandal where his funeral will take place on Saturday.

Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi is expected to attend the funeral. Inspired by the entry of Mr. Chiranjeevi into politics from the film industry, Mr. Vidyadhara Rao snapped his two-and-a-half decade-long association with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and joined hands with him in launching the Praja Rajyam Party (PRP).

Later, Mr. Vidyadhara Rao switched to the ruling Congress along with his leader. He began his career as a village sarpanch and rose to become a Minister, handling a range of portfolios in the Cabinets of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder N.T. Rama Rao and N. Chandrababu Naidu.

He served the Chintalapudi Assembly segment as a Legislator and Minister from the Telugu Desam Party for more than two decades.