Politics
Vivekananda Reddy, a senior YSRCP leader, is the uncle of present Leader of Opposition Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Former Andhra Pradesh Minister and ex-MP YS Vivekananda Reddy passed away on Friday morning after reportedly suffering a severe cardiac arrest at his residence in Pulivendula in Kadapa district. He was 68 years old and was reported to be busy in campaigning for the YSRCP until earlier this week.

Vivekananda Reddy is the brother of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy and uncle of present Leader of Opposition YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his death comes as a blow to his party. According to sources, he was being considered for the Kadapa MP ticket in the upcoming polls.

Born in 1950, Vivekananda Reddy served as an MLA, MLC and MP besides holding several positions in the Congress party over the decades. Reddy holds a degree in Agriculture from SV Agricultural College in Tirupati.

He was first elected as an MLA in 1989 and later in 1994, from Pulivendula constituency, which is a bastion of the YS family, as the seat is presently held by Jagan. Later, Vivekananda became an MP for two consecutive terms from Kadapa in 1999 and 2004.

In 2009, when Jagan Mohan Reddy stepped into active politics, Vivekananda Reddy sacrificed his sitting Kadapa MP ticket for Jagan, who went on to hold the seat till 2014.

Though YS Jagan Mohan Reddy formed YSRCP in 2011 after his father's death in a helicopter crash, Vivekananda Reddy remained in Congress and even served as the Agriculture Minister during the tenure of former CM Kiran Kumar Reddy, in the last Cabinet of united Andhra Pradesh.

As the news of his death spread, his former colleagues remembered him as a humble leader who was always available to the people in Pulivendula. Many also took to Twitter to express their condolences.

In the 2011 bye-elections, Vivekananda Reddy had contested against Y S Vijayamma, his sister-in-law, for the Pulivendula MLA seat, but was defeated. In the same bye-elections, Jagan emerged as a strong leader in the state after defeating DL Ravindra Reddy from the Congress with a huge majority to become the Kadapa MP. Following this, Vivekananda joined the YSRCP ahead of the 2014 elections.