Kodela Siva Prasad Rao, the former speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly, committed suicide at his Hyderabad residence on Monday.
The 72-year-old, a member of Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP), passed away while he was undergoing treatment at Basvatarakam Hospital.
Rao went to his room after breakfast and didn't come out. He was later found hanging from the ceiling fan, reports HansIndia.
He joined politics after being inspired by NT Rama Rao
Born in Kandlagunta in Guntur, Rao studied MBBS from Guntur Medical College, before pursuing masters in general surgery.
He ventured into politics in 1983 after being inspired by NT Rama Rao, the founder of TDP.
Rao became the assembly speaker in 2014 when Andhra was bifurcated to form Telangana. He represented Narasaraopet constituency five times, and Sattenapalle once.
He lost 2019 polls from Sattenapalle.
Cases filed by current regime upset Rao
A senior leader of TDP, Rao was apparently upset after YSR Congress, which currently governs the state, foisted cases against his family members.
Though his relatives were released on bail, the apparent humiliation depressed Rao driving him to take the extreme step.
To note, the hospital where Rao breathed his last was set up by him along with actor-politician Balakrishna.
A TDP leader said Rao was sidelined from party
"He fell ill after the police case was filed against him. Due to all kinds of allegations against him and his family members, he was alienated within the family and from TDP leadership," a TDP leader was quoted by IE.
KCR expressed shock, extended condolences to Rao's family
Rao's death was condoled by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. He expressed shock at the turn of events.
Similarly, BJP's Krishna Saagar Rao said, "I extend heartfelt condolences on the unfortunate demise of this senior politician. May his soul rest in peace. I believe this forced death is a testimony to the ongoing bitter and contemptuous politics of Andhra Pradesh. It's quite unfortunate."
Rao was accused of diverting Assembly's furniture to his residence-cum-office
To note, Rao was mired in controversies lately. He was accused of diverting expensive furniture from Assembly to his office-cum-residence in Guntur when the capital was shifted from Hyderabad to Amravati.
His son Shivaram allegedly stole laptops meant for skill development centers.
The deceased politician was booked under IPC Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property).
Claiming innocence, Rao said he took furniture to prevent theft
However, Rao had denied any wrongdoing. He said he took the furniture home to ensure it didn't get stolen.
"I had written a letter on June 7, as soon as the government changed, to the Assembly Secretary stating that I will return them or if they can quote a price I will pay but I have not received any reply yet," he had said.