VISAKHAPATNAM: Freedom fighter and former minister Bhattam Srirama Murthy passed away at a hospital in the city due to prolonged illness. He was 89 and is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Opposition leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, ministers Ch Ayyanna Patrudu, Ganta Srinivasa Rao and several other prominent citizens of Visakhapatnam expressed their condolences to the Bhattam family members.
Srirama Murthy was born in Dharmavaram village in Vizianagaram district in 1926 and completed his graduation in law. He was a member of All India Congress Committee (AICC) for about 16 years and worked in various capacities in the party. He was elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly from Vizianagaram constituency in 1962 and from Parawada constituency in Visakhapatnam district in 1972 and 1978.
Srirama Murthy worked as the minister in the Andhra Pradesh government and held the portfolios of Education and Cultural Affairs in 1972, Social Welfare between 1974-78 and Cultural Affairs in 1981. Later, he joined Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency in 1984.
For brief spells, Srirama Murthy worked as sub-editor of ‘Jaya Bharat’ magazine during 1947-48 and then as editor of ‘Prajaradham’ Telugu weekly and ‘Andhra Janata’, Telugu daily, published from Hyderabad in 1969. He authored four books in Telugu including his autobiography ‘Swechcha Bharatam’, published in 2009. Srirama Murthy was a statesman who retired from active politics and led a spiritual life for the past few years.