The suicide by senior Telugu Desam Party leader and former Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao at his Hyderabad residence on Monday shocked everybody.
The Telugu Desam Party leaders including their boss N Chandrababu Naidu have been alleging that the former Speaker had taken to the extreme step as he was harassed by the YSR Congress party government headed by chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy by filing as many as 19 cases in the last three months.
But, those who know Kodela in close quarters say he was not so timid to commit suicide.
“How can a person, who used to be referred to as “Palnadu Puli” (Tiger of Palnadu) and withstood several political turmoils in his 36-year long political career, become so weak mentally and commit suicide?” wonders a senior journalist from Guntur, who knew him for a long time.
According to him, Kodela had faced bigger cases than this furniture theft case.
Even when the CBI filed a case against him in connection with the alleged bomb explosion at this own residence at Narsaraopet in 1999 in which his four followers died, Kodela remained unperturbed.
He even claimed that there was an attempt on his life four times and survived it without any fear.
“How can such a daring and dashing person commit suicide just because a theft case was registered against him?” he asked.
Though nobody is speaking out for obvious reasons, there is a talk doing rounds in the political circles in Guntur that Kodela wanted his son and daughter to find a settlement to all the cases against the family through compromise with the complainants who approached the police in the last three months.
“Kodela was no doubt in a mental pressure, as he wanted to lead a peaceful life without any cases. But his son Shivaram did not agree with him. Moreover, Shivaram was said to be pressuring his father to give his share of property,” the journalist said.
At the same time, Kodela was feeling lonely because the TDP leaders, who are now raising a hue and cry, had almost deserted him after the elections because of the cases against him.
“Even during the recent Chalo Palnadu rally, the TDP leadership did not consult him. He was virtually isolated in the TDP in Guntur, which caused him a lot of mental disturbance and that might have led to his suicide,” the journalist said.