Lok Sabha MP from YSRCP Balli Durga Prasad Rao, who was representing Tirupati parliamentary constituency, had died due to the COVID-19 pandemic at a private hospital in Chennai on the evening hours of Wednesday at the age of 64, becoming the second MP in India to succumb to the viral infection after Congress MP H Vasanthakumar, who was representing Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
According to reports, the Parliamentarian was getting treated in Chennai for the past 15 days after he tested positive for the novel coronavirus and he breathed his last after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was also been suffering from other ailments and comorbidities were the main reason for his demise, leaving the state of Andhra Pradesh to mark the first death of the MP due to the pandemic.
He was one of the notable leaders in the state and with the vast political experience, Prasad Rao had been an ardent follower of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Srinivasulu Reddy and he had served as minister in former Chief Minister NT Rama Rao's government.
He also had served as the Minister for Primary Education in the state between 1996 and 1998 in the cabinet that was headed by the then Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. He was elected for the state legislative assembly five times and prior to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Rao exited from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and joined the YSRCP, founded and led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who is the current Chief Minister of the state.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he contested from the Tirupati parliamentary constituency and entered the Parliament. Recently, he was tested positive for the global pandemic and he was shifted to Chennai from Tirupati for his medical treatment. He was getting treated at a private hospital in the city and on Wednesday, he succumbed to COVID-19 at the age of 64.
Prasad Rao is the second MP in the country to die due to the viral infection. Last month, Congress MP from Tamil Nadu and founder of Vasanth & Co H Vasanthakumar had died of the viral infection at the age of 70. The demise of Tirupati MP had come amid the ongoing monsoon session of the Parliament, where dozens of MPs had tested positive so far. Following the demise of the Parliamentarian, state and national leaders have been expressing their condolences to the deceased MP.
Saddened by the demise of Lok Sabha MP, Balli Durga Prasad Rao Garu. He was an experienced leader, who made effective contributions towards the progress of Andhra Pradesh. My thoughts are with his family and well-wishers in this sad hour. Om Shanti.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 16, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and paid his obituary to Prasad Rao. Modi said, "Saddened by the demise of Lok Sabha MP, Balli Durga Prasad Rao Garu. He was an experienced leader, who made effective contributions towards the progress of Andhra Pradesh. My thoughts are with his family and well-wishers in this sad hour. Om Shanti."
Saddened to learn about the sudden demise of Shri Balli Durga Prasad Rao, Lok Sabha member from Tirupati. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family members and followers. Om Shanti.— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) September 16, 2020
Vice-President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu, who is a native of Andhra Pradesh, said, "Saddened to learn about the sudden demise of Shri Balli Durga Prasad Rao, Lok Sabha member from Tirupati. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family members and followers. Om Shanti". Several state leaders like Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy and TDP General Secretary Nara Lokesh had expressed condolences to the family of the departed parliamentarian.