Two Telugu Desam party leaders, including Araku MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma were killed in a Maoist attack on Sunday in Visakhapatnam.
The two were riding a motorcycle and were on a way to attend a function in Liptuputtu village when Maoists, mostly women, intercepted them.
Police believe as many as 20 Maoists attacked the duo at around 12 noon.
Visakhapatnam DIG Srikanth told ANI the reason behind the attack is yet to be ascertained.
He said the Maoists snatched weapons from the PSOs and then fired at them, killing both ministers on the spot.
"As per preliminary information, 20 Maoists were there with weapons and there may be some more in the neighbouring vicinity who came along with the villagers," he said.
Notably, Rao had been at the receiving end of criticism from tribals for long now.
Tribals, under the banner Girijana Sangham, objected to the mining licence he obtained in his brother-in-law's name.
The license allowed Rao to quarry black stone in Hukumpeta Mandal.
He had reportedly taken the lease in 2008 and tribals claimed it impacted their livelihood.
A police official said an argument may have broken between the Maoists and ministers related to mining, with the former demanding its closure.
"At one point, the Maoists opened fire indiscriminately against the duo. Eye-witnesses said that the most of the Maoists in the group were women," the official told IE.
Rao was elected on a YSR Congress ticket in 2016 and deflected to TDP later.
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