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Former Union Minister and Congress leader Jaipal Reddy dies at 77.



Former Union Minister and senior Congress leader S. Jaipal Reddy passed away on Sunday at around 1.30 a.m. in Hyderabad. He was 77. Reddy was admitted to the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology in Gachibowli with a high fever a few days back, and was undergoing treatment. His mortal remains have been kept at his Jubilee Hills residence.

Reddy joined politics as a student leader of Osmania University and went on to become Congress MLA in 1970s. He was a four-time Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and five-time Member of Parliament (MP). He was also a two-time Rajya Sabha MP and was a union minister in three governments.

He briefly quit the Congress party as a protest against the emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and joined the Janata Party in 1977. He would rejoin the Congress only in 1999 after winning from Miryalaguda Lok Sabha seat. He was also the MP from Chevella constituency in 2009.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu offers floral tributes to S. Jaipal Reddy in Hyderabad.

Jaipal Reddy served as the Minister for Information and Broadcasting in the IK Gujral government in 1997-98 and also under the Manmohan Singh led-United Progressive Alliance (UPA-1) from 2004. He also served as Minister for Urban Development and Petroleum and Natural Gas for the UPA 1 and 2.

In 1998, he was awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award, the first parliamentarian from South India to receive the award. Jaipal Reddy was known as an orator and had been a spokesperson for the political parties he represented.

Congress MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy was among the first leaders to reach Reddy’s house after the news broke. No decision has been taken yet on the cremation. All his family members were present when the end came.



Woman, three children die in fire in UP village



Banda, Dec 26 : Three children and their mother were burnt to death in a fire which spread from a bonfire in Dubey Purva Mau village in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh.

Additional Superintendent of Police, Mahendra Pratap Chauhan, said, “Kallu, a resident of Dubey Purva village in Marka police station area in Banda district is a daily wager from Jaipur, Rajasthan. He lived there along with his wife and three children. The sparks emanating from the bonfire lit due to the cold gutted the entire house. Possible other reasons behind the fire are also being probed.”

According to the locals, the villagers raised an alarm when they saw the flames engulfing Kallu’s house. By the time they were able to break open the door, the entire house had turned into rubble. There was only burnt debris and smoke everywhere. On receiving information, the police arrived and the fire brigade too reached the site.

Villagers said the mother and her three children were burnt to death in the fire in the kuccha house which began from a bonfire. The police and the fire brigade personnel put out the fire and removed the bodies from the rubble.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate said prima facie the cause of the fire appears to be the sparks from the bonfire. But only an investigation can confirm the actual reason.

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