The Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Amara Raja Group, former Chief of CII-AP, Jayadev Galla today formally took the plunge into politics. He joined the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and announced intentions to contest from Guntur to the Lok Sabha in the ensuing general elections.

The young, US-educated corporate honcho, who has steered Amara Raja to a over Rs 3,500 crore entity, has been nurturing political ambitions, with an eye to bring in change for the last couple of years.

Jayadev Galla and his mother Galla Aruna Kumari, a former minister of Mines in the Kiran Kumar Reddy led Cong(I) Government, joined the TDP in the presence of N Chandrababu Naidu.

The Gallas entry into TDP, marks the family from Chittor, severing a 7-decade long association with the Congress Party. Jayadev’s grandfather, Rajagopala Naidu was also an MP. They have a strong industrial presence in the district, providing employment to thousands of families at Amara Raja’s factories.

Asked, why he chose TDP instead of Cong (I), Jayadev told Business Line that developing a State requires somebody with vision, track record to lead and Chandrababu has these ingredients, so I chose the TDP.

For the residuary AP, the loss of Hyderabad is a big blow to regain, but the opportunity to develop a new State is equally challenging. The entrepreneurship in Seemandhra can be catalysed by a good government and vision, which the TDP chief can provide, he said.

Interestingly, the Gallas also hail from Chittoor, the home district of Naidu. Aruna Kumari was elected to the State Assembly from Chandragiri three times and served as a minister under different chief ministers. Jayadev, infact, got his initial lessons into politics managing campaigns for his mother.

On choosing Guntur and Parliament, he said his father-in-law, Telugu superstar Gattamaneni Krishna’s family is strong there. Mahesh Babu, the present big star is his brother-in-law and also his grandfather’s association with NG Ranga are a big plus. The city also has a pre-dominantly urban voter, to whom he can appeal.

" I feel I am better suited to Parliament, where my skills can come to play a role in the policies that are framed", he says. As CII-AP head, he was instrumental in the shaping of the employment intensive `Rajiv Yuva Kiranulu’ project as well as regional development initiatives.

"Politics is not a way or means to strengthen our business, but I see it as a way to make a change and bring better value and accelerate the processes of development", says the physical fitness-freak, 48 year old Jayadev Galla.

(This article was published on March 8, 2014)
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