Amaravati: Eminent journalist C Raghavachari died following prolonged illness in the early hours of Monday, sources said. He was 80.

Raghavachari was the editor of ‘Visalaandhra’ Telugu daily for over 30 years from 1972. Hailing from Warangal district, now in Telangana, Raghavachari began his career as a student union leader in CPI’s All India Students Federation and worked as its state (then united AP) president.

A voracious reader and a prolific writer, he later became a journalist in Visalaandhra newspaper run by the CPI. In a short span of time, he rose to become its editor and was at the helm for over 32 years.

A humble, down-to-earth person, Raghavachari was known for his in-depth knowledge in a wide array of subjects and his punchy editorials bore testimony to it.

He had been suffering from age-related ailments for some time now and was admitted to a private hospital in Hyderabad for treatment last week.

He died in the hospital early on Monday, CPI sources said. His body is being brought to Vijayawada, which has become his hometown for over four decades now.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu, Jana Sena president K Pawan Kalyan, state Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah and several others condoled the death of Raghavachari.

“Raghavachari believed in value-based journalism and it reflected in his writings. He had been an inspiration for the younger generations,” the Chief Minister said in a condolence message.

Naidu said Raghavachari worked with integrity and was an exemplary journalist.