Hyderabad: Former minister and senior Congress legislator Paladugu Venkata Rao died on Monday at a private hospital. He was 75.
Rao had been undergoing treatment for prostrate cancer for a while, said sources. He is survived by his wife Susheela.
The funeral will be held in his native place, Nuzvid on Wednesday. On Monday, his body was taken from the hospital and kept at his quarters in the Old MLA hostel and then moved to Indira Bhavan before leaving for Vijayawada where it will be placed in Andhra Ratna Bhavan for people to pay their last respects.
Rao was known as a radical, socialist and even a communist in the Congress ever since he joined the party in 1968. He fought against landlords in and around Nuzvid and had always stood by the poor. He was elected as Congress MLA in 1978 and in 1989. He was elected as MLC in 1972 and in 2007 and in 2011. He had also served as minister between 1980-83 and was a close associate of late prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and President Pranab Mukherjee.
Even while undergoing treatment in the hospital as an in-patient, Rao had recently visited Nuzvid in an ambulance to participate in a function to release his book.