Former AP minister and senior BJP leader succumbs to Covid-19


Vijayawada: Former minister and senior BJP leader Pydikondala Manikyala Rao succumbed to Covid-19 while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Vijayawada on Saturday.

Fifty-nine-year old Rao was admitted to the Covid Hospital in Eluru 20 days ago. He was shifted to a private hospital in Vijayawada a week ago when he developed breathlessness. For the past few days, he was on a ventilator.

Manikyala Rao was elected as an MLA from Tadepalligudem in 2014 and served as Endowments Minister in the cabinet of N Chandrababu Naidu from 2014 to 2018.

A dedicated RSS member, he was born on November 1, 1961 in Tadepalligudem and did his schooling in his hometown. He went to college in Pentapadu and later became a professional photographer and then started his own automobile business.

Condoling the demise of the BJP leader, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the West Godavari district collector to perform the last rites of Pydikondala Manikayala Rao with state honours.

BJP state president Somu Veerraju expressed shock over Manikyala Rao’s sudden demise and described him as a great leader who contributed to the party for decades. He conveyed his condolences to the latter’s family. BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao described him as a friendly personality and said his demise was a great loss for the party.

TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu said he was shocked on learning of Manikyala Rao’s demise. He conveyed his condolences to the latter’s family, while recalling Rao’s contribution as endowments minister.