Parvathaneni Upendra, one- time close associate of former Chief Minister, N. T. Rama Rao and former Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, passed away after protracted illness at a city hospital here on Monday evening. He was 73 and is survived by wife, three sons and a daughter who is married to Congress MP, Lagadapati Rajagopal.
Doctors said he was on dialysis for the past five years following a kidney ailment. His condition deteriorated a week ago and the end came on Monday due to ‘multiple organ failure’.
Mr. Upendra had a meteoric rise in politics. From a man who was an aide of the then Railway Minister Madhu Dandavate, he joined the Telugu Desam and played a key role in its growth as general secretary. His contacts with political leaders across the spectrum in New Delhi helped NTR gain national importance leading to the formation of National Front.
In 1990, he became the Union I & B Minister and was instrumental in introducing Prasar Bharathi Bill. In middle of 1990s he fell out with TDP, joined Congress and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Vijayawada. After a long hiatus from politics, he joined Praja Rajyam before the general elections in May.
Upendra was born in Pothunuru in East Godavari district and after his schooling there, went on to pursue his graduation in Visakhapatnam. In a book ‘Gatam Swagatham’, that he wrote, chronicling his stint in politics, he came down heavily on former Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu.
There was a steady stream of visitors at the hospital, including Praja Rajyam president K. Chiranjeevi. A. P. Chief Minister, K. Rosaiah, condoled his death and recalled his two-decade long political career.