Veteran Congress leader and former Andhra Pradesh minister M. Satyanarayana Rao passed away early Tuesday at a hospital in Hyderabad, his family members said.
Popularly known as MSR, he was 87. He is survived by wife, two daughters and two sons.
MSR, who also served as a member of Parliament for three terms, had tested positive for Covid-19 and was admitted to Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) on Sunday.
He was kept on ventilator after his condition turned critical. He breathes his last at 3.45 a.m. on Tuesday.
Hailing from Vedira village of Karimnagar district, MSR played a key role in Telangana movement in 1969. He was elected to Lok Sabha from Karimnagar in 1971 on the ticket of Telangana Praja Samithi. He was re-elected from the same constituency in 1977 and 1980 as the Congress party candidate.
MSR, who had a long stint as an All India Congress Committee general secretary during Indira Gandhi's stewardship, headed the Congress party in undivided Andhra Pradesh between 2000 and 2004.
He was elected to Andhra Pradesh Assembly in 2004 and joined the Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy's cabinet as a minister.
In 2006, he had challenged Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao to resign from his Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat and seek re-election on separate Telangana issue. He had offered to quit the ministerial post and Assembly membership to contest against Chandrasekhar Rao. He had also put forth the condition that whosoever lost the polls must take political retirement and stop talking about separate Telangana state issue again.
After Chandrasekhar Rao accepted the challenge and won the by-election against Congress party's T. Jeevan Reddy with a huge majority, MSR kept his word and resigned from the cabinet.
The senior leader twice served as the chairman of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC).
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has mourned the death of Satyanarayana Rao. He conveyed his condolences to the family members of the bereaved family.
"As a Telangana supporter, MP, minister in the joint state and chairman of the RTC, MSR has shown a special style and is known as a straight man in politics," the CM recalled.
Chandrasekhar Rao instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to make arrangements to conduct MSR's cremation with the official honours.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy also expressed grief over the death of MSR and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family members.
"Saddened by the passing away of Sh M.Satyanarayana Rao Garu. MSR Garu will be remembered for his insightful knowledge on matters of Telangana development," tweeted Congress party's incharge for Telangana, Manickam Tagore