New Delhi: Senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader K Yerran Naidu died in a car accident on Thursday night. Naidu was returning after an event in Vizag when his car hit a petrol tanker near Ranasthalam in Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh.
Naidu was immediately taken to a local hospital, where the doctors declared him dead at 3.30 am on Friday morning. Naidu was 55.
The mishap took place about 700 km from Hyderabad, around 2 am. Naidu was returning to Srikakulam from Visakhapatnam, after attending a marriage when the accident occurred. A profusely bleeding Naidu was shifted to Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), where the doctors' efforts to resuscitate him failed.
Four others travelling with Naidu were also injured. Two of them were admitted to RIMS. TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and a number of other leaders condoled the death of the veteran leader.
Having joined the Telugu Desam Party immediately after its formation in 1982, Yerran Naidu was elected to Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly for four times since 1983 and as many times to Lok Sabha since 1996. He, however, lost the Lok Sabha election from Srikakulam in 2009.
The only other time he faced defeat in his 30-year-old political career was when he contested the Lok Sabha polls for the first time in 1991. A qualified lawyer, Yerran Naidu served as Union Minister for Rural Development in the United Front government between 1996 and 1998. He was also Leader of Telugu Desam Parliamentary Party between 1998 and 2009.
Yerran Naidu became Telugu Desam's face in New Delhi as he built the party's ties with other national and regional parties. Hailing from Nimmada village in Srikakulam district, the parliamentarian made a mark for himself in the political arena and grew in ranks. As an MLA, he served on various House panels and was also the Government Chief Whip in 1995-96. As an MP, he was on various parliamentary committees and also served as chairman of Committee on Railways.
Since 1999, he remained a permanent member of the TDP politburo and a key leader of the party. Chandrababu relied on him for most party matters. In 2004, the former Union Minister survived a bid on his life by the outlawed CPI (Maoists), who blew a landmine targeting his vehicle in Srikakulam district.
(With additional information from IANS)