Yadlapati Venkata Rao, veteran politician and former PA minister, dies at 102

HYDERABAD/TENALI: Tenali’s veteran political leader and former minister of former United Andhra Pradesh Yadlapati Venkata Rao died due to old age in Hyderabad early on Monday. He was 102 years old. He breathed his last at the residence of his daughter Jeeta Ravishree in Hyderabad, where he had been residing for some time now.

His body will be brought back to his home on Burripalem Road in Tenali for his supporters to pay their last respects. Venkat Rao’s wife Alimelumangamma died last year. His son Jayaram and daughter-in-law Himakumari had also predeceased him. Yadlapati Venkat Rao’s funeral will be held in Tenali on Wednesday, family members said.

Chairman of Telugu Desam Party, N Chandrababu Naidu paid respects to the leader’s body at his residence in Hyderabad and will also attend the funeral in Tenali tomorrow. YSRCP MP Tenali Annabathuni Sivakumar, YSRCP City Speaker Desu Srinivasa Rao, various party leaders including Nannapaneni Rajkumari, Dr. Gogineni Uma, Dhulipalla Narendra Kumar, Dr. Rayapati Srinivas, Nakka Anandababu, Patibandla Ramakrishna, Dasari Balavardhana Rao , and others also paid tribute to the veteran leader.

Profile and political career

Venkat Rao was born on December 16, 1919 to a farming family in Bodapadu village at Amruthaluru Mandal near Tenali in Guntur district. After graduating from high school in Thurumella, he obtained his BA from AC College, Guntur. He then studied law in Chennai in 1941 and practiced as a barrister in Tenali from 1945 to 1973 and continued to be active in politics.

He joined active politics and made his political debut with the Independent Party founded by Acharya NG Ranga of which he was a close associate. He contested in Vemuru constituency and lost twice in 1962 and in the 1965 general election. He then won in 1967 as a Congressman. Yadlapati was subsequently elected to the Legislative Assembly twice in a row, set a record as an MP to score a hat-trick in that constituency as Congress leader.

He served as Minister of Agriculture and Law in the cabinet of the late Dr. Marri Chenna Reddy between 1978 and 1980. He was elected the founding chairman of Sangam Milk Dairy which was established in 1977 in Vadlamudi. He joined the Telugu Desam party in 1983 and served as the leader of the farmers’ unit for many years.

He was also a member of the TDP Political Bureau and served as TDP District Chairman for ten years. In 1995 he was elected Chairman of Guntur Zilla Parishad and was later elected a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1998.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu mourned the death of Yedlapati Venkatrao. Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, several MPs and leaders also expressed their condolences over the passing of the veteran Andhra politician.

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