Dr Agarala Eswara Reddy, the former Assembly Speaker for pre-bifurcation Andhra Pradesh passed away on Sunday at the age of 87. He had served as Speaker and Deputy Speaker but was better known for his work in the education field.
Agarala, a senior Congress leader passed away while undergoing treatment at Sri Venkateshwara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS). He had served as Deputy Speaker in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh Assembly during the years 1981-83 and as a Speaker in 1983.
Agarala was born on December 28, 1933, at Thukivakam village in Renigunta mandal of Chittoor district. He went on to become an MLA, winning the 1957 election on a Congress ticket. His second win was from Tirupati in 1982 and he served as Deputy Speaker during the tenure of T Anjaiah who was removed as chief minister by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The reason for the then Congress Chief Minister being asked to step down is attributed to the infighting that arose within the Congress after T Anjaiah was allegedly humiliated by Rajiv Gandhi at the Begumpet airport tarmac, over his welcoming at the airport.
His brief reign as an Assembly Speaker was during the chiefministership of Kotla Vijya Bhaskara Reddy of the Congress party. Agarala stepped down as Speaker after NTR leading the newly formed Telugu Desam Party (TDP) contested against him in Tirupati in 1983.
Agarala took a backseat from politics after his defeat that year. However, he remained in the public sphere and was associated with educational institutions in the state such as Sri Venkateswara University and Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University. He also went on to author seven books and published research articles.
YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the present Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, expressed grief over Agarala's demise.