Popular Telugu singer Gaddar passed away in Hyderabad today. He was 74. He breathed his last this afternoon while undergoing treatment at a private hospital. He is known as a people’s warship. G Vithal Rao, popularly known as Gaddar, played a key role in the Telangana movement through his songs.  

Gaddar, went underground in the 1980s and became a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), and founded Jana Natya Mandali, the outfit’s cultural wing. In 1997, he was shot by unknown assailants and though he survived the attack, still had a bullet lodged in his spinal cord.

With the resurgence of Telangana movement, Gaddar supported the cause of a separate Telangana State, and in 2017, severed his ties with the Maoists, though he was not active as a Maoist since 2010. Last month, he announced the launch of a new political party, which he called Gaddar Praja Party. He was most popular with his message oriented folk and revolutionary songs.