Special Correspondent

Senior party leaders are expected to attend the last rites to be performed on Monday

HYDERABAD: Veteran Marxist leader Koratala Satyanarayana (83) passed away on Saturday. He is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter.

Koratala, who was suffering from cancer, breathed his last at his residence in the Old MLA quarters this morning. The last rites will be performed here on Monday. Senior CPI (M) leaders including Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury are expected to attend the funeral.

Freedom struggle

Born in Pyaparru village in Guntur district, Koratala participated in the freedom struggle and joined the communist movement in the early 1940s inspired by Makineni Basava Punnaiah, Puchalapalli Sundaraiah and L. Balagangadhara Rao. An active participant in various agitations, Koratala is known for his struggle for the cause of farmers and workers, besides championing the cause of land reforms.

He was elected to the Assembly from Vemuru in 1962 and Repalle in 1978. He became the party's central committee member in 1982, served as State secretary from 1991 to 1997 and Polit Bureau member from 2002 to 2005.

Leaders of various political parties, including Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Opposition leader N. Chandrababu Naidu, expressed their grief over the demise of Koratala and paid tributes to the departed leader at Old MLA Quarters.

In a condolence message, the Chief Minister said Koratala never compromised with values and moral standards in his long public life. Expressing shock over the demise of Koratala, PCC president K. Keshava Rao said his death was a great loss to the Left movement, particularly working classes and rural labour, in the country.

A humanist

Mr. Naidu said the State lost a humanist in the demise of Koratala and his contribution for the cause of the downtrodden would continue to inspire the generations to come. The CPI State secretary K. Narayana said Koratala was one of the founders of the communist and land movements in the State.

CPI (M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu said that the communist movement in the State, the CPI (M) in particular, suffered a big loss in the death of Koratala. The party would take forward the ideals cherished by him.

Death condoled

Governor Rameshwar Thakur expressed grief at the death of Koratala. In a statement, he said the veteran leader was a freedom fighter and champion of the poorer sections of society.

BJP national secretary Bandaru Dattatreya and party State president N. Indrasena Reddy also condoled the death.

The CPI(M) Polit Bureau, in a statement, said the Communist movement had lost a towering leader in the death of Koratala.