Former Minister and Congress leader Reddappagari Rajagopala Reddy (81) died of cardiac arrest in Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences at Tirupati in the early hours of Wednesday.
Rajagopala Reddy was elected MLA of Lakkireddipalle in Kadapa district on Congress ticket in 1967 and 1972 and was elected as TDP candidate in 1983, 1985 and 1989.
He lost the election twice in 1978 and 1994. He served as Irrigation Minister in P.V. Narasimha Rao’s Cabinet in 1972 and was Agriculture and Transport Minister in the TDP rule between 1983 and 1989.
His body was brought to his residence in Lakkireddipalle, where several leaders and a large number of people paid homage. The body would be cremated on September 19.
An engineer turned politician, the veteran leader strived for the construction of Jharikona, Veligallu, Ganganeru, Buggavanka and Kaletivagu projects and focussed on farmers’ problems. He took active part in the Jai Andhra movement in 1972.
He is survived by two sons, former MLA R. Ramesh Kumar Reddy, who is presently the Congress in-charge of Rayachoti constituency and contractor R. Srinivas Reddy. His only son-in-law Ravi Kumar Reddy is working as Inspector-General of Police in Rajasthan.
Rajagopala Reddy suffered a heart attack at his residence here on Tuesday and was rushed to a private hospital and from there to SVIMS, where he passed away. Incidentally, Lakkireddipalle Assembly constituency ceased to exist now after the delimitation.
Chief Minister’s brother Kishore Kumar Reddy, YSR Congress MLA of Rayachoti G. Srikanth Reddy, former MLAs G. Mohan Reddy and M. Narayana Reddy, former MLC P. Narasimha Reddy and former ZP vice-chairman C. Devanatha Reddy visited Rajagopala Reddy’s residence and condoled his death.
CM may fly to Lakkireddipalle
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy expressed his sorrow over the death of former Minister R. Rajagopala Reddy. In his condolence message, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy said Rajagopala Reddy rendered valuable service to the State as five-time MLA.
Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu said Rajagopala Reddy as agriculture and transport minister, rendered valuable service to farmers and people. As long as he was in the TDP, he remained active and strove for strengthening the party. His death was a great loss to farmers and Kadapa people.
Meanwhile, a helipad was readied at Lakkireddipalle as the Chief Minister was likely to fly to Lakkireddipalle to pay last respects to Rajagopala Reddy on Thursday.