Hyderabad: Veteran Congress leader and former Andhra Pradesh minister Sarojini Pulla Reddy passed away here Sunday following prolonged illness. She was 85.

A former member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), she was suffering from cancer. She breathed her last at her residence here, family sources said. Joining the Congress five decades ago, Sarojini Pulla Reddy was elected as a councillor in the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in 1965.

She became the first lady mayor of Hyderabad -- and the second woman to don the honour in India after Tara Cherian, who became the lady mayor of Madras in 1966. Sarojini was elected to the Andhra assembly from Malakpet in 1967.

She represented the constituency twice but lost in 1978. She became the first chairperson of Hyderabad Urban Development Authority in 1975.She was inducted into the cabinet in 1979.

She was also a minister in the cabinets of T. Anjaiah, Bhavanam Venkatram and Vijayabhaskar Reddy. She was the first woman president of the Hyderabad Congress Committee.

In 2001, Sarojini was nominated a member of CWC. Soft spoken, Sarojini had a good rapport with both Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, and senior Congress and opposition leaders condoled her death.


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