S Jaipal Reddy
S Jaipal Reddy Image Credit: PTI

Hyderabad: Senior Congress leader and former Union minister S. Jaipal Reddy died in the early hours of Sunday in Hyderabad following a brief illness, his family said. He was 77.

Reddy passed away at a private hospital in Hyderabad, where he was admitted recently and was diagnosed with pneumonia. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.

The last rites will be performed here on Monday. Congress leaders said the body will be kept at Raj Bhavan, the party headquarters, to enable party leaders and workers to pay their last respects.

His last rites are likely to be performed close to the PV Ghat, the memorial of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao near Hussain Sagar.

Born in Mahabubnagar district of Telangana, Reddy was elected to the Lok Sabha for five terms and was also a member of the Rajya Sabha for two terms.

He began his political career as a student at Osmania University. Protesting the imposition of emergency, he quit Congress to join the Janata Party and later became its general secretary.

He was first elected to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly in 1969 from Kalwakurthy constituency in Mahabubnagar district. He was re-elected from the same constituency four times.

Reddy contested unsuccessfully against former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from the Medak Lok Sabha constituency in 1980.

He entered Lok Sabha in 1984, when he was elected from Mahabubnagar. In 1999 and 2004 he was elected from Miryalguda.

Reddy served as Minister for Information and Broadcasting in the I.K. Gujral government. He also served as a minister in the UPA-I and UPA-II government and held portfolios like urban development and culture, petroleum and natural gas, science and technology and earth sciences.

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao condoled the death of Reddy. In his condolence message conveyed to the members of the bereaved family, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief recollected the services rendered by Reddy as the Union minister and as a good parliamentarian.

“Deeply saddened and pained by the sudden demise of one of Telangana’s greatest sons — Shri Jaipal Reddy garu,” tweeted state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy.

He termed it as a huge personal loss for him and for the party.

“Principles of secularism and probity in public life were extremely close to his heart,” said Uttam Kumar Reddy describing Jaipal Reddy as an outstanding orator, an intellectual giant and a great human being.

Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed his deep condolences on the demise of Reddy. He recalled that with high political values and as a leading parliamentarian he made the Telugu people proud.