Home India Politics Congress leader P. Janardhan Reddy dies of cardiac arrest

Congress leader P. Janardhan Reddy dies of cardiac arrest


Hyderabad : Senior Congress party leader and Andhra legislator P. Janardhan Reddy, a bitter critic of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, died here Friday. He was 59.

The former minister collapsed while coming out after a function this morning. He breathed his last while being shifted to a nearby hospital. Doctors said he died of cardiac arrest.

The sudden death of the popular leader sent shock waves among his friends and followers in the state capital. A pall of gloom descended on his house, where hundreds of people gathered on hearing the news. Many of them were crying inconsolably.

PJR, as he was popularly known, was representing Khairatabad constituency in the state capital for and was the most powerful dissident leader in the party. He was served show cause notice by the party’s central leadership a few months ago for his opposition to the chief minister.

The five-time legislator had a huge mass support among the backward classes and the poor in his constituency. He also served as state minister for labour between 1989 and 1994.

A follower of former chief minister T. Anjaiah, PJR was first elected to the assembly from Khairatabad in 1978. PJR also led the Congress party in the state assembly between 1994 and 1999 when the party had just 25 members in the 294-member assembly.

He represented the constituency till 1999, when he lost the elections to Telugu Desam Party (TRS) candidate and former CBI director K. Vijayarama Rao.

In 2004 elections, he was re-elected. He, however, had developed serious differences with Rajasekhara Reddy and was unhappy over not being included in the state cabinet after the party returned to power.

Born Jan 12, 1948, PJR emerged as a trade union leader and later, as a minister took several initiatives for the welfare of labourers.

The rebel leader was recently in news for demanding the post of deputy chief minister for the Telengana region. On several occasions, he openly criticized the Congress government for its “anti-people” policies.

The families of PJR and Rajasekhara Reddy also had a fight in public here few months ago. PJR’s son was arrested and booked for attempt to murder for assaulting the chief minister’s brother Y. S. Viveknand Reddy over car parking.

PJR and his followers had come on to the streets demanding booking of a similar case against the chief minister’s brother. The party’s central leadership had to intervene to resolve the issue.