Senior leader of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and former Andhra Pradesh Minister Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu died following a brief illness. He was 71.
Naidu, a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council, breathed his last at a private hospital in Hyderabad late on Tuesday. He is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter.
Hailing from Chittoor district in the Rayalaseema region, he was associated with the TDP since its formation by actor-turned-politician NT Rama Rao in 1982.
He was elected to the state legislative assembly for a record six times from Puttur constituency in the same district, until the de-limitation of Assembly seats, when Puttur was merged into Nagari constituency.
He lost the 2014 Assembly Election to present YSRCP MLA Roja. Following this, he was elected as an MLC from the TDP during later bye-polls.
Naidu served as Minister in NT Rama Rao's cabinets in 1984, 1987 and 1994 and held Education and Forest portfolios.
He remained loyal to Rama Rao when the latter's son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu led a revolt and became Chief Minister in 1995.
After Rama Rao's death, Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu remained in NTR TDP floated by Rama Rao's widow Lakshmi Parvathi.
In 2004, he joined the Congress party and was elected to the state assembly on a Congress ticket.
He returned to the TDP in 2008 and the next year he was elected from newly created assembly constituency Nagari. He, however, lost 2014 elections from the same constituency. He was subsequently made a member of the Legislative Council.
Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu was sulking after he was ignored by Chief Minister Naidu during the cabinet expansion in 2017.
The Chief Minister, who is also the TDP president, condoled the death of the senior leader. He said that the departed leader played a key role in the TDP and his demise "has shocked him."
State IT Minister, Nara Lokesh, who is also CM Naiduâ€™s son, expressed his condolences.
Taking to Twitter, Nara Lokesh said, â€śShocked and disheartened to learn about the sudden passing of senior party leader Gali Muddu Krishnama Naidu Garu. His inspiring presence will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege to have known him. May God give strength to his family in this hour of grief.â€ť
Shocked and disheartened to learn about the sudden passing of senior party leader Gali Muddu Krishnama Naidu Garu. His inspiring presence will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege to have known him. May God give strength to his family in this hour of grief.â€” Lokesh Nara (@naralokesh) February 7, 2018
Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu's body will be shifted to Puttur town, where the last rites were likely to be performed on Thursday.