The absence of YSRC leader Konathala Ramakrishna at the party’s regional conference addressed by honorary president, Vijayamma, ahead of panchayat elections at Vizianagaram on Sunday again raised a few eyebrows.

His long-time political opponent Dadi Veerabhdara Rao who joined the YSRC in the teeth of opposition from Konathala group was present at the Vizianagaram meeting, covering the three north coastal districts.

However, sources close to Mr. Ramakrishna said his maternal uncle died on Saturday keeping him away from the meeting. Naidu was a fatherly figure to Mr. Ramakrishna, sources said.

After addressing the meeting at Vizianagaram and a closed door meeting with party leaders, Ms. Vijayamma drove to Anakapalle to the house of Naidu where Mr. Ramakrishna was present and condoled the death putting an end to the question mark over his absence.