National

Political rivalry within families in Andhra Pradesh: staged or serious?

Ch RS Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on March 27, 2019 Published on March 27, 2019

Members of a family contesting on different tickets is a common sight

Members of a family may sometimes find themselves in different political parties, or are forced, due to political compulsions, to contest on the tickets of separate parties. It then becomes a talking point in public discourse, depending on their political affiliations, whether they are putting up a show for public consumption or are really on different sides of the political fence.

In the Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April 11 in Andhra Pradesh, there are quite a few such electoral contests.

Daggubati Purandeswari, the former Union Minister and daughter of the late NT Rama Rao (NTR), the thespian and founder of the Telugu Desam Party, is contesting from the Visakhapatnam LS constituency as the BJP candidate and her husband, Daggubati Venkateswara Rao, on a YSR Congress ticket from the Parchur Assembly constituency in Prakasam district.

The TDP leadership in the State often alleges that the YSR Congress and the BJP are in covert political alliance, and the fact that the wife is contesting on a BJP ticket and the husband on a YSR Congress ticket has given them additional ammunition to launch a political attack.

To make it even more interesting, the TDP’s candidate from Visakhapatnam LS constituency is Sri Bharat, who is the son-in-law of Nandamuri Balakrishna, the film actor and NTR’s son (Purandeswari’s brother).

Balakrishna’s second son-in-law and the Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu’s son, Nara Lokesh, the Rural Development and IT Minister of the State, is contesting from the Mangalagiri Assembly constituency in Guntur district. Balakrishna himself is seeking re-election from Hindupur constituency in Anantapur district of Rayalseema. There is another interesting contest in Visakhapatnam district. V Kishore Chandra Deo, a senior Congressman and former Union tribal welfare minister in the UPA Government, joined the TDP recently and is contesting from the Araku LS constituency in the district.

His daughter, V Shruti Devi, is contesting on the Congress ticket from the same constituency. It does not matter who wins, as the TDP and the Congress are in league, quip YSR Congress leaders. It may be noted that the TDP and the Congress are in a strategic alliance at the national level, though they are putting up separate candidates in these elections.

Another noteworthy contest in this election is that of Nagababu, the brother of Pawan Kalyan, film actor and founder of Jana Sena, who is contesting from the Narsapur LS constituency.

Published on March 27, 2019
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