Telugu Desam leader Yadlapati Venkata Rao. (Twitter/@HariBabuBJP)
Amaravati: Veteran Telugu Desam leader Yadlapati Venkata Rao passed away due to old age in Hyderabad early on Monday.
He was 102 years old. He breathed his last in his daughter's residence in Hyderabad, where he had been staying for some time now.
Venkata Rao served as a Congress member of the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh from 1967 and also a minister in the Cabinet of late Chief Minister Marri Channa Reddy between 1978 and 1980.
He joined the Telugu Desam Party in 1983 and functioned as its farmers' unit head for many years.
In 1995 he became Chairman of Guntur Zilla Parishad and in 1998 became a member of Rajya Sabha.
He also served as politburo member of the TDP.
Born in Guntur district in 1919, Venkata Rao worked alongside tall political leaders like Acharya N G Ranga, Konijeti Rosaiah and later became a political guru for many upcoming leaders like Alapati Rajendra Prasad, Dhulipalla Narendra and Kamineni Srinivas.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu also had a close association with Venkata Rao.
Venkata Rao founded the Sangam Dairy in Guntur district for the welfare of farmers, which has now developed into a thriving farmers' cooperative.
He always wore a smile on his face and was widely respected cutting across party lines.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu led many of his party leaders in paying homage to departed leader.
The Vice-President and a host of political leaders mourned the death of the veteran leader.