Andhra politics turns bloodier; Y.S. Jagan’s uncle 'murdered'

Vivekananda was found dead at his residence in Pulivendula

Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy | Twitter/ANI Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy | Twitter/ANI

The murder of Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy, a former minister and uncle of YSR Congress Party chief Jaganmohan Reddy, has sent shock waves across Andhra Pradesh. Vivekananda was found in a pool of blood on Friday morning at his residence in Pulivendula, which is a strong-hold of YSR family. Currently, Jaganmohan Reddy represents this constituency.

Vivekananda was an MP from Kadapa when his elder brother, late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, was the chief minister of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. 

Following a complaint lodged by Krishna Reddy, the personal assistant of the deceased, the local police filed a case of suspicious death and soon began a probe. According to his family members and supporters, Vivekakanda came back to his residence late evening on Thursday after campaigning for the YSRCP in the villages. He was alone at home when he retired for the night as his wife is in Hyderabad and his daughter is in the USA. 

On Friday morning, when his body was found, it was thought that he died of heart attack as he had a history of cardiac problems. But after careful examination by his PA and family members, injuries were noticed on his body, after which the police was approached.  

By evening, Kadapa SP Rahul Dev Sharma confirmed that it was a case of murder. He said that the body had five injuries including one on the head and that the victim had died due to an attack by a sharp object. Soon after, the state government constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case. Three police teams, including a forensic team, from Vijayawada left for the murder spot. 

Meanwhile, Jaganmohan Reddy arrived in Pulivendula from Hyderabad on Friday evening. He paid tributes to his uncle and interacted with family members. Kadapa MP Avinash Reddy, who is also a relative of Vivekananda, was also present.

The family members of the YS family and YSRCP demanded an impartial and thorough probe into the murder. 

According to police sources, there was no CCTV cameras at the residence of the dead leader. However, CCTV footage in the nearby area is being examined for any clues. 

Some family members have expressed doubts that the murder could be the handiwork of Sudhakar Reddy, a co-accused in the murder of Y.S. Raja Reddy, father of Vivekakanda Reddy.  Sudhakar Reddy had recently come out of jail on bail.

On social media, the TDP and the YSRCP supporters accused each other of conspiring and executing the murder for political gains, ahead of elections in the state scheduled for April 11.