Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday ordered that a special investigation team be set up to probe the death of YSR Congress Party leader YS Vivekananda Reddy, who passed away earlier in the day, ANI reported.
Vivekananda Reddy, 68, was the younger brother of former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and the uncle of YSR Congress Party President Jagan Mohan Reddy. He reportedly died of a cardiac arrest at his house in Kadapa district on Friday morning, according to PTI. But the former minister’s family claimed he had died of unnatural causes.
Vivekananda Reddy’s personal assistant, MV Krishna Reddy, filed a complaint with the police, citing blood clots found in his bedroom and bathroom. An unidentified police official said a case of unnatural death was registered and the body shifted to Pulivendula Government Hospital for postmortem.
The YSR Congress Party demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into Vivekananda Reddy’s death. His nephew and former minister YS Avinash Reddy demanded a thorough probe to establish the cause of the death. “There were two injuries on his head, one each on the front and the back,” he said. “There could possibly be a conspiracy angle as well that needs to be probed.”
Kadapa Superintendent of Police Rahul Dev Sharma said the injuries on Vivekananda Reddy’s body pointed at a murder, NDTV reported.
Sharma said a special investigation team, led by Additional Superintendent of Police (Operations) B Lakshminarayana, has been set up, The News Minute reported. “A clues team visited the spot along with a dog squad. They took stock of the scene and forensic experts were called to the residence,” said Sharma. “We are investigating the incident from all angles and will ensure that no stone is left unturned.”
YSR Congress Party MP Vijayasai Reddy said the possibility of a conspiracy could not be ruled out until the autopsy report is released. The leader’s last rites will be conducted on Friday evening or Saturday morning, he added.
Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was scheduled to launch his party’s election campaign on Saturday, arrived in Pulivendula to pay his last respects, the Hindustan Times reported. Party spokesperson Talasila Raghuram said it is yet to decide if the release of the candidates’ list, scheduled for Saturday, will be postponed.
Personal assistant found the body
Vivekananda Reddy was alone at home on Thursday night after having campaigned for his party in Pulivendula constituency during the day. Krishna Reddy claimed there was no response when he reached the house on Friday morning. “Later, the cook and other household staff reached the house, but they too did not get any response,” he said. “I then went in through a side door and found Vivekananda’s body in the bathroom, with blood clots in the bedroom and the bathroom.”
Vivekananda Reddy was elected a lawmaker in 1989 and 1994 from his hometown Pulivendula. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Kadapa constituency in 1999 and 2004 and to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council in 2009. He had served as the agriculture minister under N Kiran Kumar Reddy in the then united Andhra Pradesh.