"Kodela worked for the development of backward Palnadu region. He was a great doctor, his services as six-time MLA and a minister were very valuable. TDP lost a senior leader. I personally lost a good friend," he added.
Earlier in the day, Kodela Sivaprasad Rao, who was at the centre of a row over alleged theft of Assembly property, reportedly committed suicide.
According to police sources, Rao hanged himself at his residence here. He was taken to a private hospital, where he was declared brought dead. Police are investigating the matter.