Congress veteran and ex-Union minister G Venkataswamy dead

Senior Congress leader and former union minister G Venkataswamy died here on Monday night due to age-related ailments.

PTI| Updated: Dec 22, 2014, 23:45 PM IST

Hyderabad: Senior Congress leader and former union minister G Venkataswamy died here on Monday night due to age-related ailments.

He was 85.

Venkataswamy, who had been keeping indifferent health for the last couple of years, was admitted to a private hospital here and the end came tonight, hospital sources said.

In a career spanning about five decades, Venkataswamy served as a parliamentarian for seven terms, the last being in 2004. He was first elected to the undivided Andhra Pradesh Assembly in 1950s.

In his political career, he held various positions including Union Minister (in the government of P V Narasimha Rao), minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh, MLA and PCC president.

A leader with humble origins, Venkataswamy strived hard for the welfare of the downtrodden.

Venkataswamy, born in Hyderabad, had been a staunch supporter of separate Telangana cause and voiced the demand at different fora.

Venkataswamy's sons are G Vinod, a former minister in undivided AP, and G Vivek, a former Lok Sabha member.

The veteran leader had expressed a wish to become President and his remarks on the issue, however, did not go down well with Congress.

Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Bandaru Dattatreya and other BJP leaders condoled the death of Venkataswamy, a BJP release said.

Condoling the death of Venkataswamy, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao asked the Chief Secretary to conduct the funeral of the departed leader with state honours, a release said.

Several Congress leaders from Telangana, including PCC president Ponnala Laxmaiah, senior MLA J Geeta Reddy, and Telangana TDP president L Ramana expressed grief over the demise of Venkataswamy.