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Former Andhra Pradesh Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pydikondala Manikyala Rao, 59, died of Covid-19 on Saturday. Rao served as Endowments Minister in 2014-18 in the Chandrababu Naidu-led government.

On July 4, Rao had announced on social media that he had tested Covid-19 positive. A week ago, he was shifted to a private hospital in Vijayawada. For the past few days, he was on ventilator support.

Condoling the death, Andhra BJP president Somu Veerraju recalled his services to the state. “He joined the party in 1989 and climbed up the ranks. He earned the plaudits from all sections as a legislator, minister and party member,” Veerraju told IANS.

Rao was elected from the Tadepalligudem seat in 2014, when the BJP contested the Assembly polls in alliance with the Telugu Desam Party and the Jana Sena Party.

Rao had last tweeted on July 25, when he asked well-wishers not to worry about his health and that he would overcome the Covid. Same day he had tweeted his wishes for a speedy recovery to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

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