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It's all in the family in Andhra

In Andhra, politics appears to be a family affair, with a few families dominating the race for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
PTI | By Indo-Asian News Service, Hyderabad
PUBLISHED ON APR 12, 2004 01:33 PM IST

In Andhra Pradesh, politics appears to be a family affair, with a few families dominating the race for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

Be it the brother of Congress leader Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy or the daughter of former chief minister N.T. Rama Rao, each is banking on family lineage to claim supremacy over rivals.

Though this trend is not new to Indian politics, there are probably more such families in this southern state than the rest of India.

Simultaneous elections to 42 parliamentary and 294 assembly seats in the state would be held April 20 and 26.

Veteran politicians from both the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the opposition Congress party have promoted their wives, sons, daughters and sons-in-law to contest the polls.

TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao's family members have dominated every election since 1982. After his son and sons-in-law, his daughter has now entered the fray, though on the Congress ticket.

While his younger son-in-law Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is seeking a third term in power for the party, his elder son-in-law Daggubatti Venkateswara Rao is contesting the Parchur assembly segment in Guntur district as the Congress candidate.

Venkateswara Rao's wife and NTR's elder daughter Daggubatti Purandareswari is the Congress candidate from Bapatla Lok Sabha constituency.

NTR's second wife Lakshmi Parvathi, who could not make it to the assembly in the last elections, is again trying her luck from two constituencies.

Chandrababu Naidu's estranged younger brother Ramamurthy Naidu is contesting as an independent from the Chandragiri assembly constituency in Chittoor district.

Ramamurthy, who quit the TDP and joined the Congress last year when his brother sidelined him, left the party a few days ago when it denied him the ticket.

Former chief minister and senior Congress leader N. Janardhan Reddy's wife N. Rajyalaxmi is seeking re-election from the Venktagiri assembly constituency in Nellore district while Janardhan Reddy is contesting from the Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency.

In the 1999 election, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Narsaraopet in Guntur district.

Congress leader Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, an aspirant for the chief minister's post, has ensured that his family continues its grip on Cuddapah Lok Sabha constituency.

His younger brother Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy is seeking re-election from the constituency. Rajasekhara Reddy himself is seeking re-election from Pulivendula assembly constituency.

Three families are dominating the politics in faction-ridden Kurnool district. The family of S.V. Subba Reddy is so powerful that its members have always held power there.

This month's elections are no different and three members of the family are trying their luck again. Former minister and TDP leader Subba Reddy himself is seeking re-election from Pattikonda assembly constituency.

His daughter Shoba Nagi Reddy is contesting as the TDP candidate from the Nandyal Lok Sabha constituency while her husband Bhooma Nagi Reddy, a powerful leader, is contesting from the Allagadda assembly constituency.

He represented Nandyal in the dissolved Lok Sabha while his wife was a member of the dissolved assembly from Allagadda.

The second powerful family is that of former Congress chief minister Kotla Vijay Bhaskar Reddy, who died last year.

The Congress has fielded his son Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy for the Kurnool Lok Sabha seat, which his father represented six times.

The family of Vijayabhaskar Reddy's rival K.E. Krishna Murthy of TDP is equally strong.

He is again contesting from Kurnool Lok Sabha constituency while his younger brother and a minister in Naidu's cabinet, K.E. Prabhakar, is seeking re-election from the Dhone assembly constituency.

Senior Congress leader and former union minister G. Venkatswamy, his son and son-in-law are all contesting as party candidates.

Venkatswamy, who had lost the 1999 election from Peddapalli Lok Sabha constituency in Karimnagar district, is contesting for the same seat.

His son Vinod is contesting from the Chennur assembly segment in the same district while son-in-law P. Shankar Rao is the Congress candidate from the Shadnagar assembly constituency in Mahabubnagar district.

Congress leader Bosta Satyanarayana, who represented the Bobbili Lok Sabha constituency in Vizianagaram district in the dissolved house, is contesting from the Cheepurapalli assembly constituency. He also secured the party ticket for his wife Jhansi from the Bobilli Lok Sabha constituency.

Two brothers belonging to TDP are contesting for the Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies in Srikakulam district.

The TDP leader in the dissolved Lok Sabha, K. Yerran Naidu, is seeking

re-election from Srikakulam while his younger brother Atchan Naidu is

again contesting from the Harishchandrapuram assembly constituency.

The Owaisi family is seeking to retain its firm grip on the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat. Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, who represented the constituency for two decades, this time opted out due to poor health but nominated his eldest son Asaduddin Owaisi. Asaduddin was the party's leader in the dissolved assembly.

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