Noted freedom fighter and former Minister died of cardiac arrest at the age of 97

Noted freedom fighter, former Minister and Telangana protagonist Konda Laxman Bapuji died of cardiac arrest at his residence here on Friday. He was 97. He is survived by a son and a daughter.

Born in Wankhidi village in Adilabad district on September 27, 1915, Bapuji participated in ‘Vandemataram’ and Quit India movements and fought against the Nizam’s rule for the liberation of Hyderabad State. Later, he participated in the ‘non-mulki’ agitation in 1952 and gave up his Minister’s post in support of the demand for statehood to Telangana in 1969.

He was active in the Telangana agitation till his death and even tried to convince the leaders of Seemandhra on the need for a separate State. Bapuji was elected to the Assembly four times – twice each from Adilabad and Nalgonda districts -- with his last term being during 1972-78 from Bhongir. He served as a Minister in the Cabinets of Kasu Brahmananda Reddy and Damodaram Sanjivaiah and as Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.

In a statement, the Governor expressed grief over the death of Bapuji and said his death was a loss to the people of the State. Meanwhile, the State Legislature paid rich tributes to Bapuji with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy announcing that a statue of Konda Laxman Bapuji would be installed and a memorial constructed here in his memory. His cremation will take place with State honours.

Kiran pays tribute

The Chief Minister paid glowing tributes to the veteran freedom fighter. After adopting a condolence motion both the Houses observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul. Leader of the Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu recalled the role of Bapuji in the movement for separate Telangana and for political power for the weaker sections. Ministers K. Jana Reddy and B. Saraiah embarrassed the Chief Minister by stating that Bapuji’s soul would not rest in peace unless he facilitated creation of Telangana by addressing a letter to the Centre and adopting a resolution in the House.