Veteran Congress leader and former state Minister M Satyanarayana Rao aka MSR succumbed to COVID-19 in Hyderabad on Tuesday morning. The 89-year-old politician had been admitted to the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) after testing positive for the coronavirus.
The family said that MSR died at around 3.45 am on April 27. The senior leader hailed from Vedira of Ramadugu mandal in Karimnagar, and was born into an agricultural family. He was into politics from his student days.
MSR held an LLB degree from Osmania University and worked as a lawyer in the Supreme Court. He was one of the tallest leaders of the Congress in united Andhra Pradesh and was active in state politics. In his long career, he served as the Chairman of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and was the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee during 1980-1983.
Later, he also served as the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Chief from 2000-2004. MSR was said to be a close confidant of the Gandhis. He had also served as the Endowments Minister in YS Rajasekhara Reddy's government.
He played an active role in the first phase of the Telangana movement in 1969. He launched his political career with a Telangana Praja Samiti ticket in 1971, contesting from the Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency . Later, he shifted his loyalties to the Congress and won as Member of Parliament in 1977. He also won from a Congress (Indira) ticket in 1980.
In 2006, however, MSR lost the Karimnagar bye-election after accepting a challenge from the current Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR).
TPCC Chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, working president Revanth Reddy, Ponnam Prabhakar and several other Congress leaders have condoled the death of MSR, stating that it is a great loss to the Congress party.
Telangana CM KCR has also expressed his condolences. "He had a unique style of politics, as a staunch Telangana supporter, as an MP and as a state Minister. He was known for his straightforward nature," read the tweet from the CM's office.
The CM has directed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to hold the final rites of MSR with the state honours. As of Monday night, the state currently has as many as 69,221 active cases. In the last 24 hours, the state saw 10,122 fresh cases.