Former A.P (undivided) Congress president D. Srinivas passes away

D. Srinivas
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

Senior Congress leader and former Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president Dharmapuri Srinivas passed away in the early hours of Saturday, June 29, 2024. following a heart attack.

He was 76 and ailing for sometime. He is survived by wife and two sons – Dharmapuri Sanjay, former Nizamabad Mayor and Dharmapuri Arvind, two-time MP from Nizamabad constituency.

The mortal remains of the senior leader has been kept at his residence in MLA Colony for the party leaders to pay their last respects. The body would be shifted to Pragatinagar in Nizamabad this evening. The last rites would be performed on Sunday morning in Nizamabad.

Born on September 27, 1948, Mr. Srinivas rose from the rank of the Youth Congress to become and MLA, Minister and the PCC chief twice.

A graduate from prestigious Nizam College in Hyderabad, Mr. Srinivas first entered the AP Legislative Assembly in 1989 by winning the Nizamabad seat and went on to become a Minister. Following in the footsteps of his uncle and close relative and then Finance Minister Argul Rajaram, the senior Congress leader wove his way with sheer hard work.

He lost the 1994 elections but won in 1999 and 2004 to secure a Cabinet berth in Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s Government in 2004. It was during his two stints as the PCC chief that the Congress party returned to power in 2004 and 2009 when Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy was the Chief Minister.

In fact, soon after the Congress party defeated the TDP in 2004 Assembly elections, along with Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy, the senior leader too had expressed his desire that he should also be considered for the Chief Minister’s post. However, the party chose Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy, who was credited with bringing the Congress party to power through his padayatra.

Had cordial ties with CMs

Despite the towering presence of Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy, the Congress leader created a niche for himself in the party. Hailing from powerful Munnuru Kapu backward class community, Mr. Srinivas emerged as a power centre. His cordial relationship with Chief Ministers – Marri Channa Reddy, N. Janardhan Reddy, Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy and other senior leaders, showed his political acumen.

His appointment as the APCC president in 2003 came as a pleasant surprise even to Rajasekhara Reddy, who was then the CLP leader. He was again retained as the state party unit chief for the second term at a time in 2008 when actor K. Chiranjeevi had floated Praja Rajyam Party. He is credited with insisting on poll alliance with the TRS in 2004 polls.

After his loss in the 2009 Assembly elections, Mr. Srinivas was subsequently made member of the Legislative Council but took the surprise decision to quit the Congress party in 2015 and joined the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (then TRS). Then BRS Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhara Rao personally invited him to join the saffron party. He was rewarded with Rajya Sabha membership in 2016. But his stint with the BRS did not last long as he had serious differences with the local leadership. Kalvakuntla Kavitha was then the Nizamabad MP and several other BRS MLAs demanded action against him. He was subsequently suspended from the party for alleged anti-party activities.

After lying low for sometime and falling sick frequently, Mr. Srinivas was confined to his home. Two-years ago, he came back to the Congress party fold and frankly admitted that it was a real ‘home coming’ for him. A trusted lieutenant of former AICC President Sonia Gandhi, the late leader had very cordial relationship with top Congress leaders particularly former President Pranab Mukherjee.

Telangana CM Revanth Reddy condoles death

Chief Minister Revanth Reddy and other Congress leaders condoled the untimely death of Mr. Srinivas. The Chief Minister recalled Srinivas ( fondly called as DS) played an important role as PCC President and rendered exceptional service to the Congress party for a long time.

The CM remembered D Srinivas, who ascended to greater heights from a Congress worker, is a role model for many political leaders. The senior most Congress leader also made his own mark during the Telangana movement and his long political stint in the Congress. CM Revanth Reddy prayed to God for the departed soul rest in peace. The CM conveyed his deepest sympathies to the bereaved family members.

Union Minister G.Kishan Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Minster N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, Transport Minister Ponnam Prabhakar and former MP V. Hanumantha Rao condoled the death.

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