HYDERABAD: Congress leaders and workers bid a tearful adieu to K Rosaiah, former chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, on Sunday as his mortal remains were consigned to flames at his farmhouse at Kompally here.
It was a poignant occasion for all those who turned up to pay their last respects to the man fondly called ‘Peddayana’ -- a friend to all and enemy to none. Holding back tears, Rosaiah’s son KS Subba Rao lit the funeral pyre amidst chanting of hymns by priests and a gun salute by the police. As the flames consumed his mortal body, his supporters, admirers and party workers looked on, overcome by grief.
Earlier in the day, Rosaiah’s residence at Ameerpet remained choc-a-block with leaders of all hues turning up to pay their last respects. They included former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy, BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, AP Ministers Botcha Satyanarayana, Balineni Srinivasa Reddy and Vellampalli Srinivas, APCC chief S Sailajanath, Telangana MP K Keshava Rao, MP TG Venkatesh, actor K Chiranjeevi, TTD chairman YV Subba Reddy.
Later, the mortal remains were taken with State honours to the Gandhi Bhavan in a decorated vehicle where Congress functionaries and cadre gathered in large numbers. The party functionaries also held a memorial meeting and observed silence for a couple of minutes. Congress leaders, including seniors like former MP V Hanumantha Rao, KVP Ramachandra Rao and J Geetha Reddy paid their respects.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, who represented AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, paid his respects by placing a wreath and Congress party flag, amid slogans of ‘Rosaiah garu amar rahe’.
Recalling his relationship with Rosaiah, Kharge described him as a ‘non-controversial person’ and able administrator who handled different types of portfolios as Minister. “We lost a great leader and his demise is a huge loss for Congress,” he told media persons.
Congress leaders, led by PCC chief A Revanth Reddy, marched alongside the vehicle carrying Rosaiah’s mortal remains for a few meters, as a mark of respect. Meanwhile, senior Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao on Sunday questioned the absence of Telangana Ministers during the funeral.