Gowtham Reddy was a fitness enthusiast

Andhra Pradesh’s minister for industries and information technology Mekapati Gowtham Reddy, who died of cardiac arrest here on Monday, was a fitness enthusiast and used to regularly do workouts in gym.

On Monday morning, he was preparing to leave for the gym when he collapsed at his residence in Jubilee Hills and was taken to Apollo Hospital but could not be revived. He was 49.

One of the servants at his house said he used to have coffee around 6 a.m. every day and leave for the gym at between 7 and 7.30 a.m. When the minister did not call the staff for coffee, one of them went upstairs to check and was shocked to find him collapsed on the sofa. “He was unresponsive and we all shifted him to hospital,” the employee said.

Gowtham Reddy, who returned from Dubai at 4 a.m. on Sunday, spent the day at his residence and went out in the evening to attend an engagement. He was back home by 9 p.m. and like every day woke up around 6 a.m.

The employee said the minister used to go to gym regularly every morning and evening. His colleagues in the cabinet, leaders of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) recalled how he used to focus on physical fitness and advise others to pay attention to their health.

TDP leader and former minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy said he met Gowtham Reddy at an engagement last night. “I met him at 8.30 last night and I can’t believe that he is not with us at 8.30 in the morning,” he said.

One of the minister’s aides said he did not have any health issues and there was no instance of him visiting the hospital even with a fever.

In April last year, he had tested positive for Covid-19 with mild symptoms but had recovered at home.

Son of former MP Mekapati Rajmohan Reddy, Gowtham Reddy had his college education in Hyderabad. He did MSc in textile from University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), Manchester, the UK in 1997. He was one of the directors in the family company KMC Constructions.

Gowtham followed in the footsteps of his father to enter politics and was elected to the Assembly from Atmakur constituency in his native Nellore district in 2014 on YSRCP ticket. He retained the seat in 2019 and became a minister for industries and information technology.

A highly educated and articulate leader, he was popular among the people and even among his political rivals for his affable and friendly nature. Leaders of opposition parties recall that he was a non-controversial person who never used any harsh word even while criticizing his political rivals.

Gowtham Reddy is survived by wife Srikirti Reddy, a businesswoman, daughter Sai Ananya Reddy and son Krishna Arjun.

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