Vijayawada: Senior BJP leader and former minister of Andhra Pradesh Pydikondala Manikyala Rao (60) died of COVID-19 in Vijayawada on 1 August. He was being treated at a private hospital here where he breathed his last.

The former minister had tested positive for COVID-19 on 4 July and was under home quarantine. A few days ago he was admitted to the hospital when his health started deteriorating. The Senior Leader released a video before he was admitted appealing to citizens to stay home and safe. BJP leader had made a selfie video on how he was taking care of himself while under home quarantine. He had also told people not to worry about the rise in the number of positive cases.

Manikyala Rao was elected as an MLA from Tadepalligudem in West Godavari district in 2014. He became a minister in Nara Chandrababu Naidu’s Cabinet during the TDP’s rule in the state, serving as the endowments minister from 2014 to March 2018. He quit the state Cabinet along with Kamineni Srinivas following the severing of the alliance between the BJP and the TDP at the Centre.

As the news of his demise spread, condolences poured in from politicians. Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishen Reddy expressing grief said,” Deeply saddened by demise of former Minister & BJP’s Senior leader P Manikyala Rao garu. During his long stint in public life, he’s touched countless individuals and has worked at the ground level. His passing away has left a void in the party. My condolences to the family”.

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