August 09, 2020

AP: CPI(M) Senior Leaders Sunnam Rajaiah, Shadrak Succumb to Covid-19

B Tulasidas

THE Communist Party of India (Marxist) Andhra Pradesh unit has lost two senior leaders to Covid-19, on August 4. Comrade Sunnam Rajaiah, 62, state secretariat member and Comrade T Shadrak, 62, member of the state control commission, have both succumbed to the viral infection, leaving a huge void for the Party. The Party state committee paid homage to the leaders and called for statewide condolence meetings for a week. It had also held an online condolence meeting at state level on August 11 to pay tributes to the departed leaders.

Comrade Rajaiah, former MLA, had persistent fever for more than a week when he got tested for Covid in the last week of July. He was said to be Covid negative and the doctors, however, continued to treat him but saw no improvement. He was tested against for Covid on August 3, and upon testing positive for the virus, he was immediately shifted to a hospital in Vijayawada during the wee hours of August 4 where he was declared ‘brought dead’. His body was brought back to his native place, Sunnamvari Gudem, and cremated as per Covid protocol.

Comrade Rajaiah was a three term MLA from Bhadrachalam constituency. He joined the Party in 1978 and became the division Party leader and gradually rose to the level of state secretariat. He was the state president of Girijana Sangham and vice chairperson of Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch. He was a beloved leader of the tribes of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. He was elected as MLA of Bhadrachalam constituency in 1999, 2004 and 2014. He relentlessly worked for the welfare of tribal people and led a very simple life. Chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and K Chandrasekhara Rao respectively, paid homage to him in separate statements.

Comrade Shadrak was the former secretary of CPI(M) Kurnool district. He and his wife Annapurna were tested positive for Covid and were shifted to Hyderabad for better treatment, a week back. His condition deteriorated and he breathed his last on August 4. The mortal remains were brought back to Kurnool and the funeral was conducted on the same evening.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau members Prakash Karat, S Ramachandran Pillai and Brinda Karat sent condolence messages paying homage to the departed leaders and sympathies to their family members. Condolence meetings were conducted in Hyderabad, Kurnool and a few other places in the two Telugu states. In Hyderabad, Party Polit Bureau member B V Raghavulu, Central Committee members T Veerabhadram, V Srinivasa Rao and other leaders paid homage. In Kurnool, Party Central Committee member M A Gafoor, along with other leaders, hailed the sacrifices of the departed seniors. CPI(M) AP secretariat, in an emergency meeting, paid homage to the leaders.