Business Standard

Vivekananda's murder heats up Andhra politics

IANS  |  Amaravati 

What was initially thought to be a natural death has turned out to be a sensational murder case with wide political ramifications in view of next month's elections in

The killing of YSR Party (YSRCP) Reddy at his residence in his home town of in district on Friday has rattled the family when it was gearing up for April 11 elections to Assembly and Lok Sabha.

Uncle of YSRCP and of Opposition Y.S. was the most unlikely victim of a ghastly crime. The former and former was considered friendly across the political spectrum.

That could be the reason for relatives initially stating that he died of However, with his body bearing multiple marks, it was treated as a case of unnatural death and within hours police concluded that he was murdered.

Vivekananda Reddy was alone at his house after day-long campaigning for the party in Jammalamadugu constituency, of which he was the incharge.

The 68-year-old is the third member of YSR family to die an unnatural death. His father Y.S. was murdered in 1998 while elder brother and then Minister died in a helicopter crash in 2009.

In a region once notorious for bloody fights among rival factions backed by political parties, headed a strong group supported by the party. A rival faction, headed by Parthasarathy Reddy, enjoyed the support of was killed in a bomb attack near

R. Sudhakar Reddy, one of the convicts in Raja Reddy's murder, was released from prison three years ago. His possible role in Vivekanandaa¿s murder is now under the police scanner.

Out of Raja Reddy's five sons, only Rajasekhara Reddy and Vivekananda Reddy were in politics. While Rajasekhara Reddy went on to become one of the most popular leaders of the state, Vivekananda had low-profile. The two brothers always shared family strongholds of the Assembly seat or the Lok Sabha seat depending on the role YSR chose for himself.

After YSR's death, his son raised the banner of revolt against the after it rejected his claim to be YSR's successor. floated the YSR Congress while Vivekananda remained loyal to Congress, became a and even contested bye-elections against Jagan's mother, Y.S. Vijayamma, from Pulivendula in 2011. He, however, tasted defeat and later joined YSR Congress.

Now Vivekananda's murder on election eve has triggered a war of words between the TDP and the YSR Congress, the new identity of the YSR family. and his party see this as a part of TDP conspiracy to eliminate YSR family.

While demanding a CBI probe, said the TDP leadership was in power or it was aware of the conspiracy whenever a death occurred in his family.

"Two days before the helicopter crash in which my father died, told the assembly that you will not return," Jagan said.

The YSRCP also sees the knife attack on him at in October last year a part of TDP conspiracy to finish off him and his family.

On Jagan's demand, the Centre handed over to the (NIA) investigations into the attack on him at

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First Published: Sat, March 16 2019. 16:30 IST