According to reports in the local media, the MP had been availing treatment in Chennai for the past 15 days after he was shifted from Tirupati.

Tirupati MP Balli Durga Prasad Rao is seen addressing a gathering He is wearing a white shirt with his mask pulled down on his chin He is holding a blue-coloured mic AP I&PR
Coronavirus COVID-19 Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 20:34

YSRCP's Member of Parliament (MP) representing Tirupati, Balli Durga Prasad Rao, succumbed to COVID-19 after suffering a cardiac arrest at a private hospital in Chennai on Wednesday evening.

Comorbidities are said to be the main reason for the MP's death. The MP from Andhra Pradesh was 64.

According to reports in the local media, the MP had been availing treatment in Chennai for the past 15 days after he was shifted from Tirupati.

Balli Durga Prasad is the first high profile public representative from Andhra who has succumbed to the virus. Reports in Telugu media said that the MP also suffered from other ailments.

Balli Durga Prasad was a staunch follower of former Andhra Minister N Srinivasulu Reddy and served as Minister in former Chief Minister NT Rama Rao's government.

He was first elected to office at the age of 28.

Hailing from Gudur in Nellore district, Rao served as a legislator during 1985-1989, and between 1994 and 2014 for four times. He served as Minister for Primary Education between 1996 and 1998 in the cabinet of the then Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and was also as Member of Public Accounts Committee between 2009 and 2014 in the erstwhile undivided state of Andhra Pradesh.

In the run up to the 2019 General Elections, Rao quit the TDP and joined the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP; he contested from the Tirupati Lok Sabha seat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of the MP and wrote on Twitter, "Saddened by the demise of Lok Sabha MP, Balli Durga Prasad Rao Garu. He was an experienced leader, who made effective contributions towards the progress of Andhra Pradesh. My thoughts are with his family and well-wishers in this sad hour. Om Shanti."

Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy expressed shock over the sudden demise of Balli Durga Prasad Rao. The Chief Minister called the family members of the deceased MP and expressed his condolences.

తిరుపతి ఎంపీ బల్లి దుర్గాప్రసాద్ గారి ఆకస్మిక మరణం తీవ్ర దిగ్భ్రాంతికి గురిచేసింది. 4దశాబ్దాల ప్రజాజీవితంలో ఎమ్మెల్యేగా,మంత్రిగా,ఎంపీగా ప్రజాసేవలో అవిరళ కృషి చేశారు. ఆయన మరణం పార్టీకి తీరని లోటు. వారి ఆత్మకు శాంతి చేకూరాలని ప్రార్ధిస్తూ..కుటుంబసభ్యులకు సానుభూతిని తెలుపుతున్నాను.

— YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (@ysjagan) September 16, 2020

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu wrote, "Saddened to learn about the sudden demise of Shri Balli Durga Prasad Rao, Lok Sabha member from Tirupati. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family members and followers. Om Shanti."

TDP General Secretary Nara Lokesh in a statement expressed condolences over the demise of the MP. 

Several other politicians have also expressed their condolences to the bereaved family while recalling his public life.

Earlier this week, Andhra Minister for Tourism Avanthi Srinivas Rao and his son tested positive for COVID-19. 

Several public representatives from both Telugu-speaking states have contracted the virus. 

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