KADAPA: The gruesome murder of former minister and YSRC leader YS Vivekananda Reddy on Friday morning came as a shock to party cadre, his supporters and people of the district. They grieved the loss of a leader, who was available to them whenever they needed his help.
The mild-mannered Vivekananda Reddy was known as the people’s leader in Kadapa, particularly in his native Pulivendula, which he represented in the Assembly many times.
A pall of gloom descended on Kadapa as the news of his untimely demise spread across the district. People from all walks of life in the six mandals of Pulivendula rushed to his house and the government hospital where his body was taken for post-mortem, to pay homage. Some traders in the district closed their shops voluntarily out of respect for the departed leader
With more people coming to Pulivendula to pay homage, the police tightened the security several places in the district as a precautionary measure. Pulivendula DSP Nagaraju is closely monitoring the situation.
Vivekananda Reddy was the third son of YS Rajareddy and younger brother of former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy. He was born on August 8, 1950, in Pulivendula. He is survived by his wife Sowbhagyamma and daughter Sunita. He was very close to his brother YSR and was his right-hand man.
If there was a problem and the people approached him, he would take up the issue with all determination till it was solved. He was also known to take the people in need of help to senior officials to have their problems redressed.
He was always averse to have security and preferred to move freely among people.
An Agriculture Science graduate, he began his political career as a samithi president in 1981.
He represented Pulivendula Assembly in 1989 and 1994 and was Kadapa MP in 1999 and 2004. He got elected as the MLC in 2009 and served as Agriculture Minister in the Kiran Kumar Reddy cabinet.
After YS Jagan Mohan Reddy parted ways with the Congress, Vivekananda Reddy continued in the party and contested against his sister-in-law YS Vijayalakshmi in Pulivendula by-election in 2012 and lost.
At that time, he said he had only contested the by-polls for the sake of the development of Pulivendula. Later, he joined the YSRC and started working closely with his nephew, Jagan.
Kadapa Mayor K Suresh Babu recalled his association with Vivekananda Reddy and said both together campaigned in Chapadu. “He always stood by my side and helped me politically. I am unable to digest the fact that he is no more,” he said.
Expressing shock over his mentor’s death, Rayachoti MLA G Srikanth Reddy said it was because of Vivekananda Reddy that he entered politics and because of him, he got a party ticket in 2009 polls.
“His death is a great loss to Jagan’s family and the party,” he said. Several political leaders in the district condoled the death of the former minister.