Andhra Pradesh Assembly former Speaker Dr Kodela Sivaprasada Rao committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence here on Monday. His death was confirmed by Basavatarakam Indo American cancer hospital. Kodela was under severe political pressure with mounting police cases against him and his family members, after the YSRCP government took the reins of the state after recent elections.
His daughter Vijayalaksmi in her statement said that her father went to his room and locked from inside after breakfast. As he did not come down the security men entered the room from behind and found him hanging to the ceiling. They immediately rushed him to the hospital where he was declared dead. He is survived by his wife Sasikala, sons Siva Rama Krishna and Satyanarayana and daughter Vijayalakshmi.
The Banjara hills police registered a case of suspicious death and are investigating. “Three teams are working on the case. We are investigating in a scientific manner. Postmortem report will throw light on the actual reasons of the death,” Hyderabad CP Anjani Kumar said.
Family sources said his body will be taken to his native place Narsaraopet in Guntur district on Tuesday where the last rites will be performed after his son Sivaram, who is in the USA, returns home. Police clamped section 144 in Narsaraopet as a precautionary measure.
Recently, Rao faced charges of shifting Assembly furniture to his private residence and his son's automobile showroom. The Guntur police are investigating the case, after recovering the furniture. Vijayalakshmi also said that her father was undergoing severe psychological turmoil in recent days that might have led to his suicide. However the police said that there was no suicide note in Dr Kodela’s room.
Meanwhile, several TDP leaders have alleged that the former speaker was driven to suicide by the YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s government. “It is blatant murder by Jaganmohan Reddy ,” Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani tweeted. Telugu Desam Party Andhra Pradesh president Kala Venkata Rao said Kodela was subjected to undue political harassment. “Jagan drove him to suicide, it is a political murder,” Varla Ramaiah said calling for a case against Jagan’s government under IPC 306.
No role of Government
YSRCP whip G. Srikanth Reddy refuting the allegations said that it is unfortunate to note that TDP is trying to gain political mileage by blaming the government. “Let the investigation show the reasons for his death. The government never haunted Kodela nor the police ever took him to the police station,” Botsa Satyanarayana, state municipal minister said suspecting reasons of death.
VP, governor condole Kodela's death
Vice-President of India M Venkaiah Naidu, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan condoled the untimely death of Kodela Siva Prasada Rao. The governor said Kodela's services as Speaker would be remembered forever. Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao condoled the death of Kodela
Doctor by Profession
Kodela, a doctor by profession, entered politics in 1983, responding to a call by celebrated actor-politician NT Rama Rao. He joined the Telugu Desam Party. He had served as Home Minister in NTR cabinet, during which the most sensational murder of Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao alias Ranga took place. He also held major industries portfolio. Kodela was holding health and Panchayat Raj portfolios in Chandrababu Naidu cabinet during 1995-2004.
He was the first Speaker of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh from June 2014 to 2019 April. He got elected to the Assembly from Narsaraopet for four times and later shifted to Sattenapalli constituency in Guntur district in 2014. In the April 2019 election, he lost the seat to Ambati Rambabu of YSR Congress.
He was founder chairman of Basava Tarakam Indo American Cancer hospital in Hyderabad. The hospital was set up in memory of NTR's wife late Nandamuri Basava Tarakam. She died of cancer. Kodela was more popular as a doctor in Narsaraopet. He ran Janata clinic for poor patients without charging for treatment, for years.