Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, a six time MLA of Telugu Desam and Minister for 14 years, was on Friday elected Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly. His was the only nomination received till the expiry of the deadline on Thursday as the Opposition YSR Congress also supported his candidature.
His election was announced by the Protem Speaker P. Narayanaswamy Naidu who informed to the House that Mr. Rao’s nomination papers were found to be in order. Immediately after the announcement, Leader of the House and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, YSR Congress president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and several TDP MLAs escorted Mr. Rao to the chair.
Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy joined Mr. Naidu after the Legislative Affairs minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu made a gesture asking him to follow. Mr Naidu and Mr. Jagan greeted each other on the rostrum. Separately, Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy led his entire party MLAs to greet the Speaker later.
Mr. Rao then invited Mr. Naidu to lead the customary speeches that followed the election of the Speaker. Mr. Naidu praised Mr. Rao for coming up from a modest middle class family in a village of Nakrekal mandal in Guntur district and completing his MBBS from Vijayawada. He did his MS from Kurnool.
Joining TDP on a call given by the founder president NTR in 1982, Mr. Naidu said Mr. Rao went on to become Minister for Home, Major Irrigation, Panchayatraj and Rural Development, Civil Supplies and Medical and Health.
He also held organizational posts in between.
Mr. Naidu recalled the walkathon by Mr. Rao along with him as part of “rythu porubata” programme despite pain in the latter’s leg.
He also recalled the anguish of Mr. Rao when the State was bifurcated. Mr. Naidu appealed to Mr. Rao to make history by running the House efficiently.