Former MP and former minister Pusapati Ananda Gajapathi Raju, elder brother of Union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, passed away at a private hospital in Visakhapatnam on Saturday morning, following a brief illness. He was 66.
Born on July 1, 1950 at Madras, Ananda Gajapathi was the eldest son of Maharaja Sahib late Pusapati Dr Vijayarama Gajapathi Raju, alias PVG Raju (15th and last Maharaja of Vizianagram) a noble legislator, parliamentarian and philanthropist. He succeeded his father as Head of House on November 14 1995.
He studied at Scindia School, Gwalior, Loyola College, Madras, Andhra University and Stetson University, Florida, USA.
He first time got elected as an MLA in 1983 and became Health and Education Minister in the State Cabinet. He was elected twice as Lok Sabha member from Vizianagaram.
He is also the hereditary trustee of Sri Varaha Lakshmi Nrusimha Swamy Devasthanam of Simhachalam as well as the chairman of MANSAS Trust, one of the top educational institutions in the region.
The learned scholar with two PhDs (one in economics from Andhra University and another in education from the US), is known for his patronage for education institutions, research and also cricket.
Ananda Gajapathi Raju's younger brother and civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju was in the city to attend a private programme but rushed to the hospital soon after learning about his brother's demise.
Sources said that all the family members of the Pusapati royal family have been informed and will perform the funeral after consulting them. Condolence messages poured in from people belonging to various walks of life.