The tragic death of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, conforming worst fears since the chopper carrying him yesterday went missing and crashed on a hillock in Kurnool district, has “shaken entire India”, the DMK patriarch, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, bemoaned today.
“I was hoping against hope that some good news about my friend (YSR) would come today, but instead the news of his death has completely shattered my hopes and deeply saddened all of us,” the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. M. Karunanidhi said here, expressing shock at the catastrophic turn of events.
Long years of dedicated political work had made Dr Reddy a hugely popular Congress leader in Andhra Pradesh, the DMK leader noted. Dr. Reddy’s return to power there earlier this year in the Assembly elections with a big victory, had not only done Congress President, Ms. Sonia Gandhi proud but continued his tenure as an impressive performer. Dr. Reddy’s sudden death in such circumstances has shocked everyone across the country, Mr. Karunanidhi said in a moving obituary message here.
A public holiday has been declared in both Tamil Nadu and the neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry tomorrow to mourn the tragic demise of Dr. Reddy.
Even as condolence messages from leaders across the political spectrum including the Opposition AIADMK leader, Ms. J. Jayalalithaa, have begun pouring in here, Mr. Karunanidhi also announced that on the ruling DMK’s behalf, the party’s Principal Headquarters Secretary and State Electricity Minister, Mr. Arcot N. Veeraswami, and the DMK’s Rajya Sabha M.P. Ms. Kanimozhi, will attend the funeral of Dr. Reddy in Andhra Pradesh tomorrow and pay homage.
Mr. Karunanidhi also spoke to Ms. Sonia Gandhi over the phone and conveyed his condolence to the Congress leader over the shocking death of Dr. Reddy.
“I was shocked and grieved to learn about the tragic demise of Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. His death is indeed a great loss to the Congress party,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said in a message conveying her sincere condolences to his wife and members of his family besides to the family of four others who lost their lives in the same helicopter crash.