Telangana mourns as Bapuji passes away without seeing the state

Another great Telangana fighter has breathed his last even as the Indian government is still dilly-dallying on the statehood issue. Eminent freedom fighter and a well-known figure in the Telangana movement, Konda Lakshman Bapuji died Hyderabad on Friday. He was 96.

Bapuji, who was not keeping well for the last few months, breathed his last at his home in Ashok Nagar, family members said. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.
Born on Sep 27, 1915 at Wankidi in Adilabad district, Konda Lakshman earned the nickname Bapuji for his participation in the Quit India Movement.

TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao, Telangana Joint Action Committee convenor M Kodandaram, BJP state president G Kishan Reddy and leaders cutting across party lines paid rich tributes to the veteran leader.

The body has been kept at Padmashali Bhavan in Kachiguda to enable people to pay their last respects. The last rites will be performed Saturday.

Both houses of state legislature paid their respects to Bapuji. The legislators observed a two-minute silence to mourn his death.

The chief minister announced in the assembly that the departed leader’s last rites would be performed with state honors. He also declared that a memorial for Bapuji would be built in Hyderabad.

Chandrababu Naidu said Bapuji’s services for backward classes would also be remembered. He termed the freedom fighter’s death a loss both for the state and the country.

State Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana, Rajya Sabha member K Chiranjeevi, CPI state secretary K Narayana, CPI-M’s BV Raghavulu, state ministers, MPs and other leaders paid their last respects.

Bapuji, a socialist, took an active part in the armed struggle against the Nizam government of then Hyderabad State.

He resigned as minister in the Andhra Pradesh cabinet in 1969 to join the movement for separate statehood to Telangana.

The veteran leader had also observed a seven-day fast in Delhi late last year to press the demand for Telangana state and had threatened to go on indefinite fast to achieve the goal.

He alongwith several intellectuals and freedom fighters from Telangana had floated a front last year to intensify the Telangana movement.

LAst year, Bapuji had launched a series of meetings with leaders from the Andhra region to convince them to agree for bifurcation of the state. (with inputs from IANS)

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