Sons rise in Andhra politics

By Mohammed Shafeeq, IANS,

Hyderabad : The sons are rising in Andhra Pradesh’s politics. The scions of almost all prominent party leaders are contesting to the Lok Sabha or the assembly — or at least playing a key role.

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Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhara Rao’s son K. Taraka Rama Rao will contest the assembly polls from Sircilla constituency in Karimnagar district. He follows the son of another prominent politician who will be making his debut in electoral politics.

The ruling Congress has fielded Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s industrialist son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy as the candidate for the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat.

Jaganmohan Reddy runs several industries and also Telugu newspaper Sakshi and television channel Sakshi. The young leader is popular in his native Kadapa district. Rajasekhara Reddy himself is seeking re-election from the Pulivendula assembly segment of Kadapa Lok Sabha seat.

KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, is likely to contest for Lok Sabha from Mahabubnagar. He was elected from Karimnagar in the 2004 elections and retained the seat in two by-elections in 2006 and 2008.

KCR had been grooming his son to take up a major role in the party ever since the latter returned in 2007 from the US after higher studies. He appointed Rama Rao as the TRS general secretary in November last year.

The TRS president preferred his son over daughter Kavita, who had become popular with the campaign to protect Telangana culture.

TRS sources say KCR wanted to avoid criticism by fielding both his children as he already has two close relatives in the party. His nephew, T. Harish Rao, is a state legislator and he is seeking re-election.

Vinod Kumar, another close relative of KCR, is seeking re-election to the Lok Sabha.

TRS sources said KCR initially toyed with the idea of fielding his son from Karimnagar. But fearing criticism from the party’s ranks over the presence of the father-son duo in parliament, he decided to nominate him as an assembly candidate.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s son Lokesh Naidu has become active in party affairs. Though he is not making a debut in next month’s elections, the former chief minister is keen to entrust him with a bigger role in the party.

The TDP chief revealed that his son played a key role in the party, helping out with the election manifesto, the cash transfer scheme that envisages payment of Rs.1,000 to Rs.2,000 per month to every poor family.

Lokesh, who also studied in the US, analysed the scheme which is under implementation in some Latin American countries and suggested to his father to promise the same to attract voters.

Lokesh is also the son-in-law of his maternal uncle, N. Balakrishna, a popular Telugu actor and son of TDP founder and legendary actor N.T. Rama Rao.

Balakrishna is currently campaigning for the TDP along with other members of the NTR clan.