Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh): The death of former Andhra Pradesh Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao triggered a political slugfest in the state with the Telugu Desam Party holding the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government responsible for the veteran leaders suspected suicide.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu accused the state government of causing a lot of mental agony to Rao by "foisting" several cases on him.
The YSR Congress maintained it had nothing to do with Rao's death and there was no political witch-hunt by the government as being alleged by the TDP.
The 72-year old Rao, who died at a hospital in Hyderabad on Monday in a suspected case of suicide, was last month slapped with a criminal case by the Andhra Pradesh police for alleged illegal possession of furniture of the assembly.
Attacking the YSRC government, Chandrababu Naidu said: For the last three months, the Jagan Mohan Reddy government has been harassing Kodela and his family and several cases were foisted on them. He ultimately committed suicide, unable to bear the harassment and unbearable humiliation, he told TDP workers in Guntur.
The state government caused a lot of mental agony to Rao who was popularly called Palnati Puli (Tiger of Palnadu region), the former Chief Minister alleged.
Other TDP leaders, including Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas and MLA K Atchannaidu, termed Rao's death a political murder by the YSRC.
Refuting the TDPs charges, state Municipal Minister Botsa Satyanarayana said the government did not harass the former Speaker.
There have been conflicting versions on Kodelas death since afternoon. A thorough inquiry is needed to establish the facts, the minister told reporters at the Secretariat.
He requested the Telangana government to conduct a detailed probe into the veteran TDP leaders death.
Hitting back at the TDP for indulging in politics over the dead, Botsa maintained that certain cases were filed against Kodela and family members based on complaints by "their victims".
The TDP was trying to politicise them, he charged.
Botsa condoled the death of the TDP leader and extended sympathies to the bereaved family.
Meanwhile, Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan and Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed grief over the former Speakers death.
The Governor, in a message, said the services of Rao as Assembly Speaker would always be remembered.
In a separate message, the Chief Minister said Rao had a long political innings since 1983 and was also a popular doctor. He extended condolences to the bereaved family.
Jana Sena Party president K Pawan Kalyan also mourned the TDP leader's death.