Hyderabad: Former MLA and CPI leader Desini China Mallaiah passed away at the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) here in the wee hours of Saturday after a prolonged illness. He was 87 and left behind his wife, two sons and four daughters. His funeral will take place in the afternoon, party sources said. China Mallaiah was elected as an MLA on CPI ticket from Indurthi four times. On hearing the news of CPI leader’s death, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao condoled his death and conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved family members. The CM recalled that China Mallaiah played a key role in separate Telangana State movement from the beginning. KCR recalled his association with China Mallaiah. Telangana State BJP president and MLA K Laxman expressed his grief over the demise of CPI leader and four-time MLA Desini China Mallaiah on Saturday. Recalling that the CPI leader had striven for the welfare of the toddy tapping workers during the united Andhra Pradesh, Laxman said Desini’s death was irreparable loss to the State and the toddy tappers. Conveying his sympathies to the bereaved family members, Dr Laxman prayed God to give peace to the departed leader’s soul. National Telugu Desam party general secretary E Peddi Reddy condoled the demise of Desini China Mallaiah this morning. In a statement here, Peddi Reddy recalled that departed CPI leader had won from Indurthi Assembly constituency for four times and earned the name of “Praja Bandhu” for his tireless efforts for uplift of the poor and downtrodden section, He also said China Mallaiah had also worked with TDP for finding solutions to burning problems of the people. He conveyed his sympathies to the kin of the departed leader.