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P. Upendra passes away

Suresh Krishnamoorthy



P. Upendra

HYDERABAD: Parvathaneni Upendra, former Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and one-time close associate of the former Chief Minister, N.T. Rama Rao, passed away after protracted illness at a hospital here on Monday. He was 73 and is survived by his wife, three sons, and a daughter, who is married to Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal.

Doctors said he was on dialysis for the past five years following a kidney ailment. His condition deteriorated a week ago and the end came due to “multiple organ failure.”

Meteoric rise

Mr. Upendra had a meteoric rise in politics. From being an aide of the then Railway Minister, Madhu Dandavate, he joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and played a key role in its growth as general secretary. His contacts with political leaders across the spectrum in New Delhi helped NTR gain national importance, leading to the formation of the National Front.

In 1990, Mr. Upendra became the Information and Broadcasting Minister and was instrumental in introducing the Prasar Bharati Bill.

Falling out with the TDP in the mid-1990s, he joined the Congress and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Vijayawada.

After a long hiatus from politics, he joined the Praja Rajyam before the general elections in May.

Mr. Upendra was born in Pothunuru in East Godavari district and went on to pursue his graduation in Visakhapatnam. In Gatam Swagatham, a book that he wrote chronicling his stint in politics, Mr. Upendra came down heavily on the former Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu.

There was a steady stream of visitors at the hospital, including Praja Rajyam president K. Chiranjeevi.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah condoled his death and recalled his two-decade long political career.

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