Visakhapatnam, Apr 19: Sardar Gouthu Lachanna, freedom fighter and one of the notable leaders from Andhra Pradesh, died at a private hospital here in the early hours today after a prolonged illness.
He was 97. He is survived by a son, a Telugu Desam MLA, and two daughters.
He was ailing for quite some time and had gone into a coma three days's ago due to high blood pressure and diabetes-related problems.
Born on August 16, 1909, in the Baruva villaage in Srikakulam in a poor toddy tappers family, Lachanna went on to become one of the most prominent leaders of the masses. He served as Minister for three terms and held positions in various parties.
Mr Lachanna took part in the Salt Satyagraha and was jailed for three years by the British. He served jail terms in Alipuram, Rajavellur, Kannur and Thanjavur. He was also jailed during the Emergency.
The leader was Minister under Chief Ministers like T Prakasam and B Gopala Reddy in the undivided Madras Presidency and also under N Sanjeeva Reddy, when Andhra Pradesh was formed in 1956.
The body was kept in his son's house in the city for some time this morning before it was taken to his hometown Sompeta. Many leaders from various parties paid tributes to the departed leader.
The funeral would be conducted tomorrow morning.
Former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu would visit Sompeta today to pay his last respects.