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Politics over Ex-minister’s Murder Takes Centre Stage in Andhra as Naidu, Jagan Continue to Trade Barbs

While Jaganmohan Reddy has sought a CBI probe and met governor ESL Narasimhan in this regard, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu has set up a special investigation team and said the guilty would not be spared.

Venkatesh Hakimpet | News18

Updated:March 19, 2019, 8:54 PM IST
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Politics over Ex-minister’s Murder Takes Centre Stage in Andhra as Naidu, Jagan Continue to Trade Barbs
File photos of YSR Congress president Jaganmohan Reddy and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu. (News18)
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Hyderabad: YS Vivekananda Reddy, a former Andhra Pradesh minister and mass leader, was found dead at his home with injury marks on his head and hands on March 15.

The YSR Congress leader’s murder has adequately rattled the state that is preparing for both assembly and general elections with rival political leaders blaming each other for the killing.

Vivekananda, the younger brother of late former chief minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy and uncle of YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy, was regarded as gentleman and low-key politician across the political spectrum and media circles.

His death has, hence, come as a rude shock to many in the Congress and YSR Congress as he shared good relations with the rank and file of both the parties.

While the YSR Congress chief has sought a CBI probe and met governor ESL Narasimhan in this regard, chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu has set up a special investigation team (SIT) and said the guilty would not be spared.

At each and every TDP rally, including the ones held at Srikakulam, Nellore, Prakasham and Guntur, following the murder, Naidu has raked up the topic and squarely blamed Reddy for his uncle’s death.

He is saying that though initially Reddy tried to present it as a case of death by heart attack, he had to change his stance and put the blame on his rival after it was confirmed that Vivekananda was murdered.

He has also accused Reddy of demanding the CBI inquiry at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s behest. “Modi is supporting some thieves and criminal leaders who are trying to thwart the development of Andhra Pradesh for political gains,” Naidu said.

Reddy too is leaving no stone unturned in putting the murder charge on the TDP chief and claiming that Naidu was accustomed to political killings, while referring to the deaths of his grandfather YS Raja Reddy and father YS Rajasekhara Reddy.

Some local television channels have also been speculating the involvement of one Gangi Reddy, a close associate of Vivekananda, in the murder due to a tussle over a land deal worth Rs 130 crore.

According to information police are also looking into the phone call details and messages of the slain leader. It is being said that Vivekananda got married one Shameem Shaik in 2010, a year after his father death.

Though his legal wife and daughter have not registered any complaint in this regard, police officers are reportedly of the opinion that Vivekananda’s second wife might have a hand in the murder due to property or family disputes.

It is learnt that Shameem, 34, from Simhadripuram of Balapunur mandal, is a post-graduate in biotechnology from Chennai and lives in Prakashnagar in Kadapa with her four-year-old son.

A graduate in agriculture from SV University in Tirupati, Vivekananda was born on August 8, 1950, at Pulivendula in Andhra Pradesh (then Madras state). He had designed the Lingala canal in
Kadapa district and began community services by becoming district governor of Lions Club and then samithi president.

He won the Pulivendula assembly seat twice in 1989 and 1994. His Lok Sabha victories in 1999 and 2004 were also with a significant margin.

After being elected a legislative council member in Sept 2009, Vivekananda took over the agriculture ministry in the N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s Congress government, before the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh on Oct 30, 2010. He later quit the Congress and joined Reddy’s YSR Congress.
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