Hyderabad: 80-year-old veteran trade union leader and first home minister of the Telangana state Nayani Narasimha Reddy passed away in the wee hours of Thursday due to post-COVID complications at Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad.
He is survived by wife Ahalya Reddy, son Devender Reddy and daughter Samantha Reddy. His son-in-law Srinivas Reddy is a corporator in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.
Nayani tested positive for COVID-19 on September 28, underwent treatment and recovered after a couple of weeks. However, he was admitted to the hospital again on October 13, as he continued to suffer from pneumonia and other health issues. His health deteriorated and had been on a ventilator since then. “However, his health turned critical on Wednesday night due to extensive lung damage. He passed away at 12.25 am,” a bulletin from Apollo Hospitals said.
Nayani’s father was shot dead during Police Action
Born on May 12, 1940, in a family of farmers in Neredugommu village of Deverakonda in the erstwhile Nalgonda district, Nayani can be considered as the first generation activist for separate Telangana movement even before the then Hyderabad state was merged with Andhra in 1956. His father Deva Reddy, an active member of the Socialist Party founded by Ram Manohar Lohia, was shot dead during the police action by the Indian forces in 1948.
Inspired by his father, Nayani also joined the Socialist Party after the completion of his schooling in 1958 and took part in various agitations on behalf of the party. He moved to Hyderabad in 1962 and started taking part in trade union movements, starting with Vazir Sultan Tobacco (VST) Company at Ram Nagar. He continued as honorary president of Hindu Mazdoor Sangh till his death.
Nayani took an active part in the separate Telangana movement between 1969 and 1971, which claimed over 400 lives. He was imprisoned several times during this period. He fought against Emergency imposed in 1975 and was jailed for about one-and-a-half years.
Nayani in electoral politics
After Emergency, Nayani joined Janata Party and in 1978 elections, he got elected to the state assembly from Musheerabad. He represented the constituency thrice. He also served as the Member of Legislative Council (MLC) from the Governor quota whose term expired in April this year.
He joined the Telugu Desam Party in 1999, but later joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi at the time of its formation and continued serving until his last breath. He served as a minister for technical education during the YS Rajasekhar Reddy government in which the TRS was a coalition partner but he quit the post after the TRS walked out of the alliance.
After the formation of Telangana, Reddy became the first home minister in the cabinet. In the second term, however, he could not get the TRS ticket and a place in the cabinet.