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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

‘Kodela was driven to death’: Blame game continues as Jagan orders state funeral for ex-Speaker

Kodela’s suspected suicide triggered a blame game between the opposition TDP and ruling YSRC with the TDP president and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu asking for a CBI probe into the situation leading to his death. He accused the Jagan government of “harassing” Kodela.

india Updated: Sep 17, 2019 16:07 IST
Kin of former Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao cry over his body in Hyderabad
Kin of former Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao cry over his body in Hyderabad (ANI Photo)
         

The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday announced a state funeral for former state assembly Speaker and senior Telugu Desam Party leader Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, who was found dead at his Hyderabad residence on Monday.

An official release from the chief minister’s office said the state funeral will be conducted at Kodela’s native place in Narsaraopet in Guntur district.

The body of the former Speaker, which was kept at NTR Trust Bhavan, the TDP headquarters in Hyderabad on Monday night, was brought to Guntur on Tuesday afternoon for the party workers to pay homage; it will be taken to Narsaraopet in the evening where the funeral will be held on Wednesday morning.

Kodela’s suspected suicide triggered a blame game between the opposition TDP and ruling YSRC with the TDP president and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu asking for a CBI probe into the situation leading to his death. He accused the Jagan government of “harassing” Kodela.

“The government and the YSRC party leaders harassed him politically, mentally, physically and financially. The government slapped 19 cases against Kodela in a span of two months. Their MP campaigned on social media inviting complaints against Kodela,” Naidu said.

The former chief minister alleged that despite the former Speaker offering to return the official furniture he had shifted to his residence and camp office, he was slapped with a case of stealing it. He said many cases filed against Kodela pertained to very old incidents and in most cases; the complainants themselves were the culprits.

The YSRC in response accused Naidu of “politics over corpses”. Senior YSRC leader and party whip in the assembly G Srikanth Reddy said while Kodela’s “suicide” was unfortunate, it was atrocious to blame the ruling party for it.

Seeking to turn the tables, he alleged that the former chief minister had sidelined Kodela after the TDP lost power. “Naidu had not been calling him to any of the party meetings in Guntur after the poll debacle. He did not take Kodela into confidence while giving a call for ‘Chalo Palnadu’ rally last week. Even when the former Speaker had fallen ill after an aborted suicide attempt in the past, the TDP chief did not call on him. Kodela committed suicide only due to mental harassment by Naidu,” Reddy alleged.

The YSRC leader added that Naidu had the habit of playing politics over dead party leaders. “He had done it in the case of N T Rama Rao and former MPs Lal Jan Basha and Nandamuri Harikrishna,” said Reddy.

First Published: Sep 17, 2019 16:06 IST

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